Liverpool will use two squads for Carabao and FIFA Club World Cup due to clash
Liverpool have announced they will use two squads as progression in the Carabao Cup meant their quarterfinal meeting with Aston Villa would clash with their FIFA Club World Cup tournament.
After beating Arsenal in the fifth round, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had threatened to forfeit the Carabao Cup unless a sensible date for their next fixture could be found.
"Liverpool Football Club can confirm our Carabao Cup quarterfinal tie at Aston Villa will take place on Tuesday Dec. 17, 2019," a statement on the club's website read.
"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."
In response, the EFL have warned Liverpool that the players selected for the game "must meet the competition's selection requirements."
Speaking after Liverpool's 2-1 win over Genk in the Champions League on Tuesday, Klopp said it was too soon to decide exactly how to approach the two games.
"We asked Aston Villa if they could come to Qatar and we could play the game there," joked Klopp.
"We don't know exactly how we do it, we have an idea but it's too early to speak about it. We had to make a decision, we made that decision because all the other alternatives were more problems than solutions and didn't work out.
"We said this way we can do as good as is possible. In the next couple of weeks we will decide exactly how it will look," he said.
Asked if the club had faced pressure from FIFA and the English Football League (EFL) over the situation, Klopp said: "Kind of. You want to be really in trouble with FIFA? I'm not sure. You want to be really in trouble with the EFL, probably not. We respect the competitions."
The German said his main issue with the League Cup was playing two-legged semifinals at a busy time in the campaign.
"I don't understand that and I don't like it. With the rest it is a nice competition," he said.
"The Club World Cup you play only if you win the Champions League and that doesn't happen in your life five million times, you take the opportunity. Is it the best time of the year? Nope. Are we anyway pretty busy? Yep. But we go there, we try to play all the games we have, with all that we have," he said.
Klopp, who guided Liverpool to the Champions League title last season, said it was wrong that competitions were relying on certain teams going out in order to keep the fixtures in order.
"You cannot work like this that you hope that somebody goes out and then everything is fine," he said.
"I don't want to cancel competitions, I am from Germany, why would I want to cancel English competitions? But it should still be possible to talk about the problems and that is what I did. If some people don't like that -- I cannot change.
"The problems are obvious. Every year we do the same thing -- and some people find it funny that 'Look at that they have to play five games in three days, let's see how they do that?'
"We cannot carry on like this, come on, that is why I asked to sit down at a table because at one point we have to find a solution, the solutions so far sound to me more like another problem."