Football

Chelsea Discipline Kepa For Refusing To Be Substituted

Chelsea Discipline Kepa For Refusing To Be Substituted

Chelsea have fined goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga due to his refusal to be substituted during Sunday's League Cup final against Manchester City.

Manager Maurizio Sarri had wished to bring on Willy Caballero prior to a penalty shootout, one which Chelsea lost. However, Arrizabalaga refused to be replaced.

Both the player and manager subsequently ran with the line that it had all been a misunderstanding, that Sarri believed Kepa was suffering from cramp when he wasn't.

In a statement from the club, Kepa said that he has apologised to Sarri and his teammates.

"I have thought a lot more about yesterday’s events," said Kepa.

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 team-mates 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.

Sarri said that as far as he is concerned, the matter is now closed.

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"Kepa and I have spoken about the incident. It was a good conversation.

"There was a misunderstanding yesterday but he realises he made a big mistake in the way he reacted. He has apologised to me, his team-mates 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."

Picture credit: Shutterstock.com

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PJ Browne
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