Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has be fined one week’s wages for his conduct during Sunday’s Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
The club confirmed their decision on Monday evening, stating that the money will be donated to the Chelsea Foundation.
The Spanish international appeared to refuse to be replaced by Willy Caballero deep into injury time of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City after having gone down for a second time with cramp.
The world’s most expensive goalkeeper remained between the posts during the subsequent shoot-out defeat – diving over Sergio Aguero’s penalty before saving Leroy Sane’s effort – but the bizarre situation had already clouded over what had been a resolute display from the Blues.
Following the incident, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri – who almost stormed down the Wembley tunnel following Kepa’s refusal to be replaced – stated that such fury was born out of a misunderstanding of the situation.
Later that evening, Kepa took to Instagram to emphasise the point made by his manager and reaffirm his “full respect” for Maurizio Sarri and his authority.
On Monday, however, Chelsea released another set of statements from both the player and manager to put an end to speculation about the incident and the consequences of it.
Kepa maintained that he did not try to undermine his manager, although had regretted his behaviour and handling of the situation, and confirmed he had personally apologised to both his teammates and Sarri.
The full statement read as follows:
“I was very happy to play in my first Cup Final for Chelsea yesterday and very proud of the team performance.
“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 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.”
OFFICIAL: @ChelseaFC have fined Kepa Arrizabalaga The Club one week’s wages for his conduct during the Carabao Cup final.
The money will be donated to the Chelsea Foundation. pic.twitter.com/RLqDKsyiqh
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) February 25, 2019
Maurizio Sarri then confirmed that the two had spoken and he now wished for the issue to be closed. He did, however, allow the club to sanction punishment as they saw fit.
The full statement from the Chelsea manager read as follows:
“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.”
Chris Sutton on Kepa Arrizabalaga: “If I was Sarri I would walk. You cannot be undermined. Why weren’t the players dragging Kepa off anyway? Kepa should be sacked, not Sarri.” pic.twitter.com/9K2eUkT5lA
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) February 24, 2019
Chelsea face Spurs in the Premier League next as their quest for a top-four finish continues on Wednesday night.
It remains to be seen whether Kepa will start at Stamford Bridge. However, Sarri’s comments about the matter suggest it will be business as usual now that the matter has been resolved by the club.