Drama ensued on Sunday evening, February 24, at Wembley as Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, refused to be substituted during the London side’s EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
Chelsea boss, Maurizio Sarri, wanted to introduce Willy Caballero in Kepa’s place moments before the penalty shootout in a tactical move.
However, the Spanish shot-stopper declined to go off, leaving Sarri fuming. The confusion reigned for minutes, with David Luiz appearing to convince Kepa to obey the manager’s decision.
But the 24-year-old stood his ground amid the showdown and went on to participate in the shootout, making a single save as the Blues lost 4-3.
The fiasco has been the centre of discussion since then, with football fans, players and pundits delving into the matter with some branding Kepa’s conduct disrespectful.
Be that as it may, the scenario is well addressed in the International Football Association Board (IFAB) laws. Under the substitution procedure section, the law states:
“If a player who is to be replaced refuses to leave, play continues.” As such, Sarri, or any other football manager who may find himself in a similar situation may have little or nothing to do as the player will be within their rights to decline a substitution.
However, in an apparent move to restore sanity within Chelsea’s dressing room, the club has fined Kepa his weekly wages.
Earlier, Continentour.com.ng reported that Manchester City have been crowned the 2019 EFL Cup champions after beating Chelsea on penalties at the Wembley Stadium.
The Citizens beat Chelsea 4-3 on penalties after both teams failed to find the back of the net in open play after 120 minutes.
Sunday evening’s victory means that the Etihad Stadium outfit have won six EFL Cup titles since the start of the competition – after successfully defending the title they won last term.
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