Chelsea hand fine to Kepa Arrizabalaga, goalkeeper issues apology

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Chelsea hand fine to Kepa Arrizabalaga, goalkeeper issues apology

Chelsea have announced that they have fined Kepa Arrizabalaga after the goalkeeper refused to be substituted towards the end of the EFL Cup final.
Arrizabalaga had twice gone down with cramp during the latter stages of Sunday’s showdown with Manchester City, and Maurizio Sarri wanted to replace the Spaniard with Willy Caballero.

However, Arrizabalaga insisted that he was fine to continue and repeatedly refused to be replaced, and it left Sarri visibly angry on the touchline.

Both parties moved to put the incident down to a misunderstanding, but Chelsea have now revealed that Arrizabalaga has been fined a week’s wages with the stopper issuing another apology.

The Spaniard said in a statement: “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 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.”

Sarri added: “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 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.”

Man City eventfully prevailed 4-3 in a penalty shootout.