The decision to hold the Carabao Cup third round draw at 4:15 has been met with disbelief by football fans up and down the country.

The draw will see the winners of Fulham vs Bristol Rovers, and QPR vs Brentford find out their fate; although only the early-risers will be awake to see it take place.

In a statement on the EFL website, they said: "We understand that not everyone will agree on the timing of this week’s Round Three Draw, but in staging in this way it will give the competition both the 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.

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“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 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.

“As part of those meetings the EFL will stage its first summit in Asia, where potential sponsors and investors from the region will gather to be briefed on the wider opportunities the EFL can provide. This will include the showcasing of the new iFollow international streaming platform which successfully launched at the start of the season.

“We now look forward to this work developing over the course of the next few days and taking further shape in the coming weeks and months.”