Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has been fined a week’s wages and apologised for refusing to be substituted during Sunday’s Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
Kepa twice required treatment during extra time at Wembley, with Willy Caballero – Manchester City’s shoot-out hero in 2016 final – prepared to come on.
“Although there was a misunderstanding, on reflection, I made a big mistake with how I handled the situation,” Kepa said in a Chelsea statement.
Sarri appeared to be furious as Kepa defied his order to come off, with Caballero left confused on the sidelines during a long delay.
The Chelsea boss explained in his post-match news conference that it was a “misunderstanding“, saying he understood the apparent injury to Kepa was more serious than the Spaniard felt.
But he 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.“
The 24-year-old former Athletic Bilbao player said: “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.
Kepa, the club’s record £71m signing, defied Sarri’s attempt to substitute him for Caballero before Manchester City won on penalties. The Italian appeared furious and walked down the tunnel before quickly returning.
“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.“