Kepa Arrizabalaga has been fined one week’s wages for his refusal to be substituted during Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final loss to Manchester City, the club have confirmed.Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri was left enraged on the Wembley touchline when Kepa, having twice received treatment on the pitch during extra time, angrily waved away the Italian’s…
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri was left enraged on the Wembley touchline when Kepa, having twice received treatment on the pitch during extra time, angrily waved away the Italian’s attempt to replace him with Willy Caballero.
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Both men played down the incident as a “misunderstanding” after the match, but in a follow-up statement on the Chelsea website Kepa admitted he made “a big mistake” by defying Sarri’s wishes and added that he will accept the punishment.
“I was very happy to play in my first cup final for Chelsea yesterday and very proud of the team performance,” Kepa said. “I have thought a lot more about yesterday’s events. Although there was a misunderstanding, on reflection, I made a big mistake with how I handled the situation.
“I wanted to take the time today to apologise fully and in person to the coach, to Willy, my teammates and to the club. I have done this and now I want to offer the same apology to the fans. I will learn from this episode and will accept any punishment or discipline the club decides is appropriate.”
Sources have told ESPN FC that Kepa is expected to keep his place in Chelsea’s starting XI for the visit of Tottenham to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Wednesday, and Sarri was keen to draw a line under the episode.
“Kepa and I have spoken about the incident. It was a good conversation,” Sarri said in Chelsea’s statement. “There was a misunderstanding yesterday but he realises he made a big mistake in the way he reacted. He has apologised to me, his teammates and the club.
“It is up to the club if they want to discipline him according to the club rules, but for me this matter is now closed. The team performance as a whole was extremely positive and it is a shame to see how this incident has overshadowed our efforts in what was a very competitive cup final.
“Everyone’s focus is now on the next game and we must all now put this behind us.”
Chelsea clarified that Kepa’s fine will be donated to the club’s foundation.