KEPA Arrizabalaga had EVERY right to refuse to come off in the Carabao Cup Final – at least according to the Laws of football.
Sarri attempted to downplay the incident following Manchester City’s penalty shoot-out win, suggesting it was all down to a “misunderstanding”.
Some fans wondered whether referee Jon Moss should have intervened to force Kepaoff as Chelsea had requested a hold-up in play to make the planned change.
Equally, there were questions over whether the referee could make mention of the incident to the FA in his official match report.
But Fifa Law 3.3, covering substitutions, makes clear there is nothing Moss can do – and nothing, strictly, that Kepa did wrong.
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa angrily refuses to being called off the pitch during the Carabao Cup Final
The Law states: “If a player who is to be replaced refuses to leave, play continues.”
The letter of the Law may have been on Kepa’s side but plenty of Chelsea fans were infuriated by his behaviour.
Nevertheless, it seems the Spaniard will keep his place in goal for Wednesday’s derby clash with Spurs, even if Sarri’s authority looks to have been undermined yet further.