The Carabao Cup quarter-final tie between Aston Villa and Liverpool has been confirmed for Tuesday 18th December (3:45pm kick-off) as originally scheduled.
The EFL has been engaged in discussions with Liverpool for a number of months regarding the possibility of needing to find a suitable date for the club to meet its commitments to the Carabao Cup, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.
Having considered all possible scenarios, the EFL has now accepted a request from the club to play the fixture on the scheduled date, during the designated week for the quarter-finals in the domestic fixture calendar, with Liverpool committing to fielding a team that is largely consistent with those that have participated in earlier rounds of this season’s competition.
The players selected on the teamsheet must meet the competition’s selection requirements, which are outlined in the competition’s rules with, Regulation 6.5 stating: “Each club shall play its full available strength in and during all Cup Competition matches, unless some satisfactory reason is given.”
The EFL’s overwhelming priority is to maintain the integrity of the Carabao Cup and the decision taken is intended to protect the best interests of a competition that attracts millions of viewers at home and abroad with the final broadcast in more than 130 territories worldwide.
It is also the best decision in minimising the impact of rescheduling the final stages of the competition on those clubs who remain in the Carabao Cup and the knock-on effect this would have in both the FA Cup and the Premier League.
EFL 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.
“The EFL has long-acknowledged that this competition provides those clubs with large resources with the opportunity to rotate their squads knowing that teams who wish to be successful have to be prepared to play a large amount of matches over the course of the season.
“Therefore, 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.”