Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne is expected to be given a lengthy suspension after failing a spot Pepsi Challenge, it has been revealed.
The right back, a £12.5 million summer purchase from Southampton, was said to have failed to taste that Bottle B was the correct brand of cola as opposed to Bottle A, which he selected.
A source close to the 24-year-old said: ‘Clyney’s gutted, of course. What he thought was the Pepsi turned out to be a thirty-year-old can of Panda Pops. He knows he’s made a mistake, and hopes that the authorities go easy on him’.
Manager Jürgen Klopp, speaking ahead of Liverpool’s Boxing Day clash with high-flying Leicester City, said: ‘It is hard luck, but we’ll just have to muddle through. Jon Flanagan’s been looking good in training, so we feel there is adequate cover. But to not notice the delicious, sweet Taste of a Generation? He deserves to have the book thrown at him. As long as that book is Pepsi: 100 Years, by Bob Stoddard’.
Clyne himself was unavailable for comment, but his agent hinted that he would be willing to take part in another test involving cherry-favoured fizzy drinks.
The test, which was introduced by the FA in 1981, has in the past caught out a number of culprits, although none as high profile as Clyne, capped nine times for England. The average length of the ban has been six games, but has often been reduced if the player can tell the difference between clothes washed with Lenor and other leading brand fabric softeners.