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Kepa Apologises, Fined For Wembley Incident

Kepa Apologises, Fined For Wembley Incident

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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  • Considering their recent run of shocking results, Chelsea’s sturdy, if unspectacular, performance against Man City in the Carabau cup final was marred by the Kepa substitute rejection incident.

    Having now apologized to all concerned, the players and coaching crew should put this behind and prepare for there next match.

    I genuinely believe it was a big misunderstanding as Kepa believed he was fit enough to continue having being the one to originally instigate the substitution because of injury.

    The Spaniard had twice gone down with cramp in extra time of the match at Wembley on Sunday before Sarri readied Willy Caballero to replace him before the match went to penalties.

    But Kepa said he had shaken of the cramps hence nullifying the need for his substitution.

    The coach at that point had made up his mind to replace the goalkeeper.

    After a near three minute public refusal from Kepa, the world most expensive goalkeeper stayed on and saw a Sergio Aguero penalty slide under his body – with Manchester City eventually winning the shootout 4-3.

    Players who I can readily think about who have refused to either be subbed on or off include Messi, Tevez, Fabianski, Kalinic and the famous incident of Egyptian Mido.

    In 2006, bad boy of Egyptian football Mido was sent home from the Africa Cup of Nations after he reacted angrily in shocking scenes, for long periods with his coach, at being substituted against Senegal in the semi-finals.

    The substitute – Amr Zaki – went on to score the winning goal to make it 2:1 as Egypt booked their place in the final against ivory coast.

    Mido’s petulance:


  • pompei 5 years ago

    A player publicly defies his Manager, and refuses to come off after being subbed. Unheard off in world football, until Kepa did it. Fining him a paltry week’s wages is treating this matter with kid gloves in my opinion. Sacking him would have nipped this in the bud. As it is, players will now be emboldened to knock heads with their managers. Totally unacceptable, I think. No matter what, Kepa should have left the pitch when he was asked to. Period. If you exhibit Kepa’s insolence at any workplace anywhere in the world, you are finished, as far as that job goes. It shouldn’t be different in a properly run football club.

  • You just said it, its obviously not properly run, Players more powerful than the manager and yet you want the manager to have a strong hold of the club.

  • Jones 5 years ago

    Sacking him would be to harsh afterall, our own Amokachi substituted himself in while playing for Everton.

  • Dr. Drey 5 years ago

    Sack a player they paid 70+ million pounds sterling (not egyptian pounds o) for, b4 the end of 1 season….haba brosss…even if you nor be businessman, at least you dey buy market once a while….na so e easy….?????

  • pompei 5 years ago

    So what do you suggest? Continue playing him as if nothing happened? I no be business man. I no get business bone for body sef. But if I buy a car for let’s say 70 million pounds, and the car dey drag steering wheel with me. If I wan turn left, the car’s computer go say “no, we are turning right”. Believe me, I will get rid of that car, no matter how fancy it is! The biggest issue here is setting the proper precedent. If an example is not made of Kepa now, other players will be emboldened to try this nonsense sooner or later!

  • pompei 5 years ago

    If this Kepa rebellion is tolerated, the next thing that will happen is players will feel they have the right to question the manager over his selection of match day squads. Players may even try to usurp that function from the manager. Yes, players selecting themselves for matches. That is where this is headed. The manager will then become a figure head, as opposed to being an authority figure. That must not be allowed to happen! Left to me, Kepa’s Chelsea career is finished. If they choose not to sack him, an idea I find mind boggling, then they must find a way to make an example of him. Fining him one week’s wages is not enough. A punishment that will really hit where it hurts is needed, as a lesson for Kepa, and a serious deterrent to any other would be offenders in the future.

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