By Press Association 2021
The Carabao Cup semi-finals will be played over two rounds again next season, the EFL has confirmed.
The fixtures were contested as one-off matches during the 2020-21 season after the coronavirus pandemic pushed the start of the campaign back to September.
The semi-finals had already been played over two sets since the inception of the Coupe de la Ligue in 1960, and an EFL spokesperson told the PA news agency that the regular format had now been restored. .
The draws will be played in the weeks starting January 3 and 10 of next year. The home and away matches are usually spaced two weeks apart, but have been brought closer together for the coming season due to the additional non-UEFA international window which will take place in late January and early February.
The Carabao Cup format is threatened in the longer term by UEFA’s plans to reorganize its club competitions from 2024.
His proposals to expand the Champions League from 125 to 225 matches were approved by the UEFA executive committee in April, although there were suggestions that certain aspects of the format could be revisited as part of the move. ‘a broader examination of the formats prompted by the founding and rapid collapse of the European Super League.
EFL President Rick Parry said in March the proposals posed a “major threat” to the League Cup, and by extension to EFL clubs who he said would lose a third of revenue current if the competition was significantly changed.
Parry also opposed UEFA’s proposal for four more Champions League rounds to fill ‘exclusive’ slots midweek.
The Premier League is reportedly pushing to keep January clear for domestic football only.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin told The Times last year that it would be “better for everyone” if the Carabao Cup was scrapped.