Kepa fined; the goalkeeper apologises | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 27, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 27, 2019

Kepa fined; the goalkeeper apologises

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has been fined a week's wages by the club after defying manager Maurizio Sarri and refusing to be substituted during the League Cup final on Sunday.

"Although there was a misunderstanding, on reflection, I made a big mistake with how I handled the situation," Kepa said in a statement on Chelsea's website which announced the fine.

The club simultaneously published a statement from Sarri in which the manager said the pair had spoken following the row, which occurred in extra time of the match which Manchester City won on penalties.

"He has apologised to me, his teammates and the club," said Sarri.

"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."

Sarri, who reacted furiously when Kepa refused to be substituted after needing treatment in the closing stages, said the incident had been a "misunderstanding".

"There was a misunderstanding yesterday but (Kepa) realises he made a big mistake in the way he reacted.

"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."

Kepa, the club's record £71 million ($93 million) signing from Athletic Bilbao, refused to leave the field to be replaced by Willy Caballero. Sarri then stormed off down the tunnel in anger before returning.

"I wanted to take the time today to apologise fully and in person to the coach, to Willy, my teammates and to the club," said Kepa, 24, whose fine will be donated to the Chelsea foundation.

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