Liverpool will play their Carabao Cup quarter final tie away to Aston Villa as scheduled - just one one day before they are due to compete in the Club World Cup in Qatar.
The Reds have confirmed they will utilise two different playing squads in order to fulfil the fixtures at Villa Park and Doha simultaneously.
“Liverpool Football Club can confirm our Carabao Cup quarter-final tie at Aston Villa will take place on Tuesday December 17, 2019.” read a statement on the club’s website. “As a result, we will be utilising two playing squads simultaneously, with one squad participating in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar and another in the Carabao Cup.”
“The club would like to take this opportunity to underline that while this is not an ideal scenario, it is an outcome which was arrived at with the best interests of the competition, our fellow clubs and ourselves as the sole motivating factor.
“We would like to thank the EFL for their efforts to accommodate us and we can confirm alternative dates were discussed, but ultimately none were considered suitable without compromising the scheduling of the competition itself or placing an undue strain on our playing staff.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are obliged to compete in the FIFA competition in the Middle East following their triumph in the Champions League last season with fixtures for the annual event scheduled for December.
Following their dramatic penalty shootout victory over Arsenal last week, Liverpool progressed to the last eight of the League Cup causing the unexpected clash of fixtures.
Klopp had threatened to forfeit their place in the competition over the fixture congestion and previously ruled out the possibility of playing in both competitions with two different squads.
In a statement on the EFL website, Football Services Director, Dave Cookson, said: “The EFL is very aware of the challenges Clubs face when participating across numerous competitions at home and abroad, and whilst we will always look to work with Clubs our overwhelming priority has to be to protect the integrity of the Carabao Cup and ensure any decisions taken are in the best interests of the competition.
“In these exceptional circumstances the decision was taken having received clear assurances from the Club that there will be a level of consistency in team selection, a feature which is key to ensuring integrity is maintained.
“We recognise the challenges Liverpool face in this matter and appreciate the efforts made to find a practical solution. Finally, I would like to wish the Club well in representing the English game at the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar.”
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