How did Liverpool FC escape league cup expulsion for fielding an ineligible player?

Football Player
Friday, 04 October 2019 By Ashley Cukier

The English Football League (EFL) yesterday announced1 that Liverpool FC had been found guilty of misconduct and fined £200,000 – of which £100,000 will be suspended until the end of Season 2020/21 – for having breached EFL Rules by fielding an ineligible player in their League Cup third round match against Milton Keynes Dons. The sanction has raised eyebrows in some parts: in 2016 the EFL, in an ostensibly more severe sanction, deducted 3 points2 from Bury FC for fielding an ineligible player and, as recently as last month, Grays Athletic FC were expelled3 from the FA Cup for the same offence.

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Ashley Cukier

Ashley Cukier

Ashley is a barrister at Littleton Chambers specialising in commercial litigation and sports law. He was last year named by Chambers & Partners as an ‘Up and Coming’ Sports Law barrister (the only junior barrister recognised as such in last year’s rankings), and is now regularly sought out by solicitors and sporting bodies, as both counsel and as an arbitrator. He was recently appointed as one of the barristers conducting the investigation into unlawful discrimination at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.  His sports practice is focused particularly on contractual and regulatory disputes, especially in a footballing context where, over the past year, he has appeared in and presided over a number of FA Rule K arbitrations, FIFA Football Tribunal claims and EFL proceedings, often against counsel much his senior.  He speaks several languages and is often sought out to assist on cases containing international elements and/or involving questions of foreign law, jurisdiction and enforcement.

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