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Hazard kicks ball boy as Chelsea exits Cup
by Samuel Charles, January 23rd, 2013 8:37PM

TAGS:  england, off the post, video


[OFF THE POST] Swansea City earning its first major cup final birth in the club's centennial season was overshadowed on Wednesday when Eden Hazard kicked a ball boy stalling for time in a scoreless Capitol One Cup semifinal in Wales.

Chelsea was outplayed over two legs, losing 2-0 on aggregate in the 80th minute at Swansea, when Hazard took out his frustrations on a ball boy at Liberty Park. He was sent off, and this incident may follow the Belgian 22-year-old for his entire career.

The ball boy turned out to be 17-year-old Charlie Morgan, the son of Swansea director Martin Morgan, and there is no doubt he was stalling, but the number of people downplaying Hazard kicking him with a cleat to retrieve a ball and save a few seconds is shocking.

Former Welsh international Robbie Savage tweeted: “If the ball boy gives the ball straight back and does his job properly that doesn't happen!”

Chelsea coach Rafa Benitez said, “He was wasting time, Hazard was frustrated and wanted to get the ball back quickly.”

Backlash forced Chelsea to apologize for its first official tweet on the subject which stated: “Has football gone mad? Hazard is sent off for kicking the ball under a ball boy attempting to smother the ball rather than return it.”

Hazard himself appeared to qualify his apology through Chelsea TV: “The boy put his whole body onto the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball and I think I kicked the ball and not the boy. I apologize. The ball boy came in the changing room and we had a quick chat and I apologized and the boy apologized as well, and it is over. Sorry.”

And even these Sky Sports analysts on our initial replay saw it as an "unnecessary distraction" that would've been fine if his cleat had hit only the ball ...

This announcer seems to have a little more perspective, grasping the big picture, and the egregious nature of Hazard’s act immediately and comprehensively ...

  1. Kyr-Roger St.-Denis
    commented on: January 24, 2013 at 8:10 a.m.
    The ball boy was being a little turd, and Hazard doesn't actually kick him: he kicks at the ball underneath the ballboy, and only impacted the boy's side with his shin. Not a mature, considered response to a petulant display of childish partisanship worth of the US Congress, but more understandable than your article would lead one to believe.
  1. Cesar Sastre
    commented on: January 24, 2013 at 8:53 a.m.
    Gotta agree. Was the player stupid? Yes, but the story initially leads one to believe the player was leaving the field and kicked an innocent little ball boy on his way out. Thankfully, the rest of the story was reported and we have video. The ball boy and club he works for should also receive a consequence for intentional delay. A 17 year old coach's son laying on top of a ball and holding onto it like he just recovered a fumble?? Really??!!
  1. Larry Dolph
    commented on: January 24, 2013 at 10:25 a.m.
    Agree! This kid posted on twitter prior to the match it was his last game and he was going to waste time. Go look him up and check the post. I don't condone what hazard did, but clearly this was planned by the kid, and the red should be overturned by the FA. Ridiculous...
  1. Winston Stewart
    commented on: January 24, 2013 at 5:09 p.m.
    Regardless of whether or not the ball boy was wasting time, HAZARD HAD NO RIGHT KICKING EITHER AT THE BALL OR AT THE BOY. He was DEAD WRONG and should be dealt with SEVERELY. All that needs to be done to the boy is ban him from being a ball boy again. He is 17-y.o. and should be taught the art of sportsmanship, which his dad OBVIOUSLY never did!

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