Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga infuriated Chelsea fans and Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri after he refused to be substituted in Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final loss to Manchester City on Sunday.
According to Daily Mail, the incident has now divided the dressing room with Willy Caballero in particular angry at what transpired despite shaking the hands of Kepa before the penalty shootout loss against Manchester City on Sunday.
While some players side Sarri and Caballero, other members of the Blues squad are backing Arrizabalaga.
Following the incident on Sunday, Chelsea have made a decision to fine Kepa one week’s wages and donate it to the Chelsea Foundation. The club took the decision to prevent the controversy from mirroring the public feud between former boss Antonio Conte and ex-striker Diego Costa in 2017.
Kepa has issued a statement following his actions on Sunday: “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 (Sunday)’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.”
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri who angrily walked down the tunnel befor returning to the touchline has urged everyone at Chelsea to put the incident behind and focus on the next game against Tottenham.
“Kepa and I have spoken about the incident. It was a good conversation,” Sarri said in a statement released by Chelsea’s official website.
“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.”