English football giants Liverpool is likely to face a suspension from the English League Cup. They had fielded an ineligible player in their last Wednesday’s 2-0 third-round victory over MK Dons.
Reports have distinguished Spanish midfielder Pedro Chirivella, who came on as a second-half substitute in the game. The European champion got their next match in form of a high profile tie against Arsenal in the last 16 of the knockout tournament.
Chirivella was making his first appearance for Liverpool since May 2016. He had spent the second half of last season on loan at Spanish second division club Extremadura. This meant that he would have needed new international clearance when he returned to his parent club in the summer.
Liverpool requested the clearance in July but the process can only be completed with the Football Association’s intervention. It is unclear whether the necessary paperwork is in place.
The English Football League (EFL), which manages the cup competition, said it was currently examining the issue.
The EFL has a range of sanctions at its disposal, ranging from a fine to being thrown out of the competition.
Liverpool reacted to the reports by issuing its statement.
“The club is aware of a potential administrative issue about one of our players,” it said.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s ideal start to the Premier League season continued Saturday with a 1-0 win against Sheffield United on Saturday.
Georginio Wijnaldum’s second-half strike went through the legs of Dean Henderson, the home goalkeeper reacting in horror as it trickled into the net behind him.
Henderson made partial amends when he denied Mo Salah a second with a superb block, but the damage had been done.
This was Liverpool’s seventh straight win from the start of the season and 16th overall. Jurgen Klopp’s men are now five points clear of reigning champion Manchester City, 3-1 winners at Everton in Saturday’s late kick-off.