Kepa Apologises, Fined For Wembley Incident

February 26, 2019
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Kepa Arrizabalaga has apologised for refusing to be substituted during Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final defeat by Manchester City on Sunday.

Chelsea lost the final 4-3 on penalties after regulation time scores were goalless.

The Spaniard who refused to be replaced by Willy Caballero at Wembley was also fined a week’s wages. The club will donate Kepa’s fine to the Chelsea Foundation.

“Although there was a misunderstanding, on reflection, I made a big mistake with how I handled the situation,” Kepa, the club’s record £71m signing said in a Chelsea statement.

“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.”

Manager Maurizio Sarri said he and Kepa had since had “a good conversation”.

Sarri, who reacted angrily when Kepa refused to leave the field towards the end of extra time, also said the incident had been “a misunderstanding”.

The 24-year-old former Athletic Bilbao player added: “Kepa 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.”

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