Liverpool have been fined £200,000 for fielding an ineligible player in their League Cup win over MK Dons with £100,000 of the fine being suspended until the end of next season.
The Reds will not be expelled from the competition and they will now proceed to face Arsenal in the next round. The date for that fixture which is to be played at Anfield is yet to be announced.
22-year-old Pedro Chirivella had not received international clearance when he came off the bench for the final 27 minutes of Liverpool’s 3rd Round victory last week. The Reds insisted that they had applied for an international transfer certificate when the player returned from a loan spell in Spain last summer and blamed the FA for an administrative oversight. The FA’s position, however, is that it is the responsibility of all clubs to make sure their players are eligible to play.
Prior to the ruling, Reds’ boss Jürgen Klopp had said: “What I can say if it was our fault alone, then we have to be punished. It didn’t happen on purpose but my only really concern is the player.
“He couldn’t play for half a year in Spain [at Extremadura] and if he can’t play for us from now on that is the biggest problem.
“If we made a mistake, and I am not sure if we did, but if we did the player should not be punished.”
A statement issued by the EFL today, said: ‘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 Leasing.com 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 Leasing.com 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.’
An EFL spokesperson added: “The rules of the Carabao Cup require Clubs to ensure all players are registered and eligible in line with their respective League’s rules before they play. The player was always contracted to Liverpool FC during this period, and the reason he was not eligible was because the Club did not have the relevant international clearance following expiry of an earlier loan agreement.
“The Club’s breach was in part due to the challenges it encountered with securing the correct international clearance, and its subsequent ability to include the Player on team-sheets despite the lack of clearance.
“As a result the Board concluded the most appropriate sanction was a financial penalty.”
The winners of the League Cup receive £100,000 in prize money. In comparison, winners of the FA Cup receive £2million while £16.9million is paid out to the team that wins the Champions League final. Taking into account the prize money in the previous rounds of the Champions League, up to approximately £73.4million can be secured in prize money by the winners of Europe’s elite competition.
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