In Depth

Conspiracy theories abound after Carabao’s latest cup draw blunder

The League Cup sponsors faced ‘technical difficulties’ while live streaming quarter final draw on Twitter

Last night saw the draw for the quarter finals of the League Cup - known for sponsorship reasons as the Carabao Cup - descend into “farce”, after technical difficulties during the live stream broadcast delayed the draw by almost two hours.

Thousands tuned in for the draw, originally scheduled for a live broadcast on Twitter at 4pm GMT, but were instead met with a blank screen. The Carabao social media team scrambled to let users know that “Twitter engineers” were in the process of rectifying the issue.

Twitter was awash with people poking fun at the cup's Thai energy drink sponsor, as they were left wondering whether the draw would ever take place:

Many also pointed out that this was not the first blunder Carabao had made since taking control of the draws.

In the draw for the first round, beamed live from Bangkok in June, the broadcast audio failed, leaving fans watching a series of muted speeches before Charlton Athletic were accidentally drawn twice - once at home against Cheltenham Town and once away at Exeter City.

colour mix-up then marred the second round draw, before Carabao provoked anger by announcing the third round draw would be held in Beijing at 11:15am local time - 4:15am GMT.

Last night, after a delay of almost two hours, Carabao finally tweeted: “Take a look at the pre-recorded video and see who your team got.”

Predictably, news that the draw had been pre-recorded during the delay raised eyebrows. Conspiracy theorists noted that the draw threw up no major clashes between big teams, with Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea all avoiding each other.

Those theories were compounded by Manchester United being drawn against Bristol City, the only non Premier League team in the draw and the lowest-ranked team left in the competition.

Even betting site Paddy Power was sceptical:

The English Football League (EFL), the entity that organises the League Cup, said in a statement last night: “The EFL has received an apology from Twitter UK for the delay which is believed to have occurred as a result of a faulty encoder. The EFL has requested a full explanation into the events that led to this afternoon’s unacceptable delay.”

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