Mansfield Town boss Graham Coughlan says his team were "threatened with expulsion" if they did not bring their Carabao Cup first-round tie against Preston forward to this Saturday.
The game has been rearranged because of a number of North End players being called up for their national squads.
The EFL have denied Coughlan's claims and say the tie was moved to "protect the integrity of the competition".
It confirmed both clubs were involved in discussions about the rescheduling.
The match will be the Stags' first competitive fixture since 7 March after the League Two season was curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's ludicrous. We're three weeks out from being ready," Coughlan told BBC Radio Nottingham.
"It's running the risk of injury before a ball has been kicked. We're nowhere near ready to go.
"We've been forced into it with the threat of expulsion or fines if we didn't co-operate and play against Preston."