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EFL launch Liverpool inquest after they field ineligible player in cup tie

Liverpool are attempting to iron out an administrative problem after the EFL launched a probe into the club fielding an ineligible player in their Carabao Cup win over MK Dons.

The PA news agency understands the matter relates to the international transfer certificate (ITC) of Pedro Chirivella, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Spanish club Extremadura, after he came off the bench in the 63rd minute of the 2-0 third-round victory.

Chirivella, 22, therefore required new clearance when he returned to his parent club in the summer and Liverpool requested that in July but the process can only be completed with the Football Association’s intervention.

Pedro Chirivella spent the second half of last season on loan at Extremadura

Pedro Chirivella spent the second half of last season on loan at Extremadura (Anthony Devlin/PA)

The club feel they have enough mitigating factors to ensure they escape the most serious sanction of expulsion from the competition.

“The club are aware of a potential administrative issue pertaining to one of our players,” said a Liverpool statement.

“We are working with the relevant authorities in order to establish the facts of the matter and will be making no further comment until this process is complete.”

Liverpool were 2-0 winners in the tie

Liverpool were 2-0 winners in the tie (Joe Giddens/PA)

The last club to breach similar rules were Sunderland in 2014 when they were fined by the Premier League after being found guilty of fielding ineligible player Ji-Don Won in four matches, but it was determined the mistake was with the authorities.

EFL rules give it “full powers” to investigate, which could mean anything from a reprimand to expulsion, but enquiries are at such an early stage it is impossible to speculate on what the punishment may be.

“We are currently considering the matter,” said an EFL spokesman.

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