Carabao Cup: UK fans will have to get up at 4.15am to watch draw

The third-round draw is scheduled to be made on Thursday at approximately 11.15am local time – in Beijing. The time difference with China means supporters of the clubs involved will have to be awake very early to see it.

It is the latest controversy to hit the rebranded League Cup competition this season.

The first-round draw, held in Thailand where the makers of energy drink Carabao are based, showed Charlton playing two teams in the on-screen graphic.

Then former England winger John Salako, conducting the second-round draw, got confused about which teams were playing at home and which away.

Yet those mishaps are not behind the EFL’s decision to keep the third-round draw from public view. Instead, it claims the move is part of its plan to boost exposure in Asia.

A spokesman said: “We understand that not everyone will agree on the timing of this week’s round-three draw, but in staging it this way it will give the competition maximum exposure in the UK, Chinese and South-East Asian markets.

“This is not only an important factor for the EFL but also our new sponsors Carabao, who, like ourselves, plan to use the growing global appeal of the competition to reach new audiences.

“Once the logistics have been completed in Beijing, the UK will be waking up and the breakfast media will be able to report and get reaction on the 16 ties that will take place next month, which we feel is an interesting move away from the usual post-game evening draws.

“The round-three draw itself is not being televised live in China or anywhere else but the EFL will be providing full coverage across its Carabao Cup Twitter feed, with news and reaction as it happens.

“Our decision to go to China is part of a strategic plan to grow the EFL internationally and specifically boost profile and exposure in ASEAN [Association of South East Asian Nations] markets.

“A number of potentially significant meetings are being held around the draw that we envisage will deliver a benefit to all 72 clubs of the EFL.”

The seven Premier League clubs who qualified for European competitions enter the draw at the third-round stage, including holders Manchester United.

The majority of the second-round ties begin tonight, with six ties tomorrow.

Source: Daily Express