The English Football League apologised on Saturday after error-riddled graphics appeared on their online broadcast of the first round draw for the Carabao Cup, including inaccurately announcing an extra Charlton Athletic match.
Glitches in the draw, which took place in Bangkok on Friday night, caused confusion and much merriment among fans but is a major publicity gaff for the EFL and the cup’s new sponsor, Thai energy drinks firm Carabao.
The draw itself, led by Emmanuel Petit and multi-millionaire Carabao owner Sathien Setthasit, was done correctly in a faux German beer hall on the outskirts of the Thai capital.
But fans soon noticed that the graphics overlaying the livestream contained errors including Charlton supposedly being drawn to play Exeter away and Cheltenham at home.
Charlton took to Twitter to make light of the matter asking fans which match they’d prefer — the real game they were drawn was Exeter away.
League Cup newcomers Forest Green Rovers also used their Twitter account to clarify a graphic error when they were also erroneously shown to be playing Wolverhampton Wanderers when in fact they had been drawn against Milton Keynes Dons.
In a statement the EFL said “human error” was to blame for the graphic hitch.
“There were inaccuracies as a result of human error in the live graphics output, which resulted in confusion and incorrect ties being displayed on screen,” organisers said in a statement.
“The EFL can confirm that the draw was not compromised in any way and all clubs have received confirmation of their Round One ties,” the statement added.
The blunder was particularly significant given fans were so reliant on the live feed because the draw was taking place in Thailand.
Many complained the Facebook live video on the Carabao Cup’s page crashed or had no sound.
In their statement the EFL said some users did experience difficulties.
While some fans were angry on social media, many laughed at the errors.
“Good luck to Charlton Athletic in the #CarabaoCup. They’re going to need it, poor sods,” wrote Arden O’Breslin (@arden_breslin) on Twitter.
“What happens if both Chartlon Athletic and Charlton Athletic get to the final of the fabled @CarabaoCup?” added @BradleyFlett.
It is only the second time in the League Cup’s 57-year history the draw has been held overseas.
The last time was in 1991 when the away teams were picked by billionaire property magnate Donald Trump, now the United State president.
Sathien, who Forbes estimates is worth $830 million, founded his energy drinks brand with a famous Thai folk singer in 2002.
He has poured millions into English football in recent years in a bid to boost his brand’s global footprint with his logo already appearing on the training kit of Chelsea and Reading’s match kit.
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