Keeper Fined After Substitution Fiasco
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga admits he made a mistake in not coming off during Sunday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City at Wembley.
The 24-year-old has been fined by the club and made a public apology for refusing to leave the pitch after coach Maurizio Sarri decided to substitute him. Arrizabalaga had been treated for cramp right at the end of the game and Sarri told Willy Caballero to warm up ready to come on. But Arrizabalaga refused to leave and he carried on while Sarri fumed on the sidelines.
The keeper has since been fined one week’s wages by the club and in a statement released on Monday he apologised for his actions.
“Although there was a misunderstanding, on reflection, I made a big mistake with how I handled the situation” said the Spaniard.
“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.”
Maurizo Sarri, who saw his authority publicly undermined on the biggest of stages, has accepted the keeper’s explanation.
“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.”
Sarri is reported to have screamed at Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea dressing room after the match which Chelsea lost 4-3 on penalties after a goalless draw.