Eden Hazard apologises for kicking ball boy in League Cup

 

Chelsea's Eden Hazard has apologised for kicking a ball boy during their Capital One Cup exit to Swansea.

The Belgian was trying to retrieve the ball from under the ball boy who had fallen on top of it.

Twitter reaction

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand:  "I'm not the authorities but in my eyes it's a red for all those asking. Us players do put refs in bad spots at times unfortunately!"

Everton captain Phil Neville:  "You can't kick the ball boy that's not right so I again agree with Chris Foy - red card!"

Stoke striker Michael Owen:  "Both the kid and Hazard were in the wrong. Not having Hazard tried to hurt him though. He just tried to toe poke it out of his grip."

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright:   "To be fair, the ball boy and Hazard acted poorly. It was something you don't see everyday! Can't help smiling. Congrats Swansea by the way."

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale:   "Unbelievable decision by the referee to send Hazard off but congrats to Swansea. Who'd have predicted this final?!"

Hazard, who was shown a straight red card by referee Chris Foy, later told Chelsea TV: "The boy put his whole body on to the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball.

"I think I kicked the ball and not the boy. I apologise."

South Wales Police said no action would be taken against Hazard. A spokesman said ball boy Charlie Morgan had been interviewed in the presence of his father and had not made a complaint.

"The ball boy did not sustain any injuries", the spokesman added.

The incident happened when the ball went out for a goal kick in the 80th minute of the match.

The scoreline was 0-0 at the time, with Chelsea needing at least two goals to take the match into extra-time. The match ended 0-0 with the Swans going through with a 2-0 aggregate win.

Swansea City media manager Jonathan Wilsher said: "The police have interviewed the boy, whose name we cannot give because he is under 18 and a vulnerable person.

"He and his father spoke to police and they are not pressing charges.

"He's been into the Chelsea dressing room and shook hands with Hazard. John Terry and Frank Lampard were exemplary in welcoming him into the Chelsea dressing room."

Blues boss Rafael Benitez said both player and ball boy apologised to each other after the match at Liberty Stadium.

He added: "They both recognise there was a mistake.

The ref's view

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher told BBC Radio 5 live: "There was a precedent when Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was sent off for throwing a coin into the crowd against Arsenal at Highbury in 2002.

"Referee Chris Foy was absolutely correct to send off Eden Hazard, it is violent conduct. He has quite rightly sent him off. He will report it as an act of violent conduct to the FA."

"The boy was apologising for time wasting. Hazard was frustrated and tried to get the ball. He was kicking the ball and getting the ball.

"We can analyse if for half an hour but we know that both are wrong.

"We will deal with it internally, that's all I can say."

Swansea captain Ashley Williams said after the match: "Demba Ba told me that the boy held on to it. I saw him [Hazard] kick him in the ribs, and you can't do that."

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup commented: "I think he [Hazard] will regret it when he sees it. The ball boy should have let it go but he was pushed first and then he kicks him.

"I understand as a player when you are behind and you are under pressure you sometimes say or do things you shouldn't but there are some things you cannot do."

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher told BBC Radio 5 live: "There was a precedent when Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was sent off for throwing a coin into the crowd against Arsenal at Highbury in 2002.

"Referee Chris Foy was absolutely correct to send off Eden Hazard, it is violent conduct. He has quite rightly sent him off. He will report it as an act of violent conduct to the FA."