The EFL has confirmed an error was made during the Carabao Cup third round draw involving Newcastle United and Manchester City.
The Magpies were drawn against the treble-winners however eagle-eyes supporters noticed that Eddie Howe’s side had been assigned the wrong ball number during the draw process.
Numbers are assigned by listing the clubs involved in alphabetical order with the exception of ties that were yet to be concluded when the numbers were allocated.
Newcastle were ball number 20 for the draw, however they were listed behind Norwich City who were ball number 19 despite being alphabetically lower in the list.
As a result, the Tynesiders were drawn against Pep Guardiola’s side, while Norwich were drawn against Fulham – a tie the Magpies would undoubtedly have been happier with.
But while the EFL have acknowledged the ball numbers were incorrectly assigned, they do reinforce the draw was still valid.
An EFL Spokesperson told The Express: “The numbers for the Round Three draw of the Carabao Cup were allocated and communicated in advance of the draw taking place on Wednesday evening and were drawn in-line with the usual strict protocols and conditions.
“The League accepts that the list published was not in alphabetical order, however, under Cup rules, the draw does not require for numbers to be allocated on that basis as is demonstrated by those teams who progressed on Wednesday night.
“As a result, the EFL views the draw as completely valid with no impact to competition integrity.”
The new talkSPORT match centre
Keep up-to-date with all the latest football fixtures, results and standings in our new match centre.