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Liverpool escapes Carabao Cup expulsion

Liverpool escapes Carabao Cup expulsion despite fielding ineligible player in MK Dons win

October 2, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The Reds have been handed a fine in place of a suspension for the Pedro Chirivella incident.

Liverpool has escaped disqualification from this season's Carabao Cup after fielding an eligible player in the fourth round win over MK Dons. Instead, the Reds have been handed a fine of £200,000 ($246,000), a statement by the English Football League Board confirmed on Wednesday.

In a bid to rotate the squad in order to rest players for the subsequent encounter with Sheffield United, Jurgen Klopp's side ended up featuring Spanish midfielder Pedro Chirivella. The midfielder who came on as a substitute to replace Naby Keita in the 63rd minute was not registered to play for the Merseysiders in the competition.

Having featured on loan for Extremadura in the Spanish Segunda Division last season, Liverpool was required to secure an international transfer certificate in order to make the 22-year-old fit to play for the club once again. However, the European champions were unable to complete the process albeit requesting the paperwork in more than four months ago.

It is believed that English Football Association's intervention could have curbed the happening, hence the Reds maintaining that they are not to blame for the error. As a result, the expulsion penalty which was initially proposed was suspended and the club was asked to pay the half of the £200,000 ($246,000) fine. The other half of the amount is suspended until the end of next season.

The full statement of the EFL Board reads:

"The EFL Board has today fined Liverpool FC £200,000 - of which £100,000 will be suspended until the end of Season 2020/21 - for having breached the Rules of the Carabao Cup by fielding an ineligible player against Milton Keynes Dons in a Carabao Cup match on 25 September.

"The circumstances leading to this breach are that Liverpool FC had not received international clearance for their existing contracted registered player, Pedro Chirivella Burgos, on expiry of his loan agreement last Season with Spanish club Extremadura Union Deportiva.

"Following a comprehensive review of all the evidence, the Board determined that it wasn't appropriate to expel the Club from the Competition because of a number of mitigating factors.

"In particular, the Board noted that the Club had sought the assistance of the Football Association in securing the return of the International Clearance prior to the start of this season, and the Club had been able to include the player on team sheets for Premier League Two matches (under Premier League Rules) and one Trophy match, which resulted in the breach not being identified until the Club reported the issue to the EFL and Premier League following the MK Dons match.

"As a result, the Club has also been found guilty of misconduct in relation to the same breach for having fielded the player in the defeat against Oldham Athletic in the Trophy on 7 August, with the sanction incorporated into the financial penalty.

"The Club will be liable for the suspended sum of £100,000, plus an additional sanction, if they were to again field an ineligible player in the Carabao Cup between now and the end of next season."

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