Liverpool FC has confirmed that they are being investigated for fielding an ineligible player during their 2-0 victory against MK Dons at the third round of the Carabao Cup. The player in question is believed to be returning Spanish player Pedro Chirivella, who spent last season on loan to Extremadura.
The English Football League (EFL) has launched an investigation on the matter. If found guilty, Jurgen Klopp's men may find themselves unceremoniously kicked out of the competition.
The 22-year-old Spanish midfielder spent half of the previous season with Extremadura. Upon his return to Liverpool, he would have been required to renew his international clearance. According to The Athletic, Chirivella has not played for the Liverpool first team in three years.
The EFL is not investigating if his participation off the bench on Wednesday's match is valid. According to Carabao Cup rules, a player must be "registered and eligible to participate in a Premier League match commencing at the same time and on the same date as the Competition match in accordance with the Premier League Rules."
A Liverpool spokesperson has since confirmed that an investigation is taking place. However, they did not give any information about the status of Chirivella's international clearance at the time of the match in question.
"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," the Reds' spokesperson said.
If found guilty, Liverpool may face disqualification from the tournament. If this happens, they will find themselves with one less trophy to target this season. After having won the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League, Liverpool are strong favourites to win this season's Premier League. They currently top the table, after winning all seven of their matches so far.
At best, Liverpool may face a fine. In 2014, Sunderland was fined for a similar offence. They were found guilty of fielding Korean player Ji Dong-Won coincidentally also against MK Dons, after failing to gain international clearance for the player.