FA looking into ball-boy incident

  • Last Updated: January 24 2013, 19:25 GMT

The Football Association is weighing up whether to take further action against Chelsea's Eden Hazard for kicking a Swansea ball boy - and the Belgian has come in for criticism from his own national governing body.

The FA will review Eden Hazard's clash with a ball boy at Swansea
The FA will review Eden Hazard's clash with a ball boy at Swansea

Eden Hazard

10. Eden Hazard

Title Number
Appearances 9 (1)
Goals 2
Assists 2
Yellows 1
Reds 0
*Current Season

Hazard was dismissed by referee Chris Foy after losing patience during the closing stages of the match at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday night, when ball boy Charlie Morgan refused to hand over the ball after it had gone out for a goal-kick.

Morgan fell to the ground as Hazard attempted to get the ball from him, with the Blues midfielder then trying to kick it from under him but appearing to instead make contact with the youngster.

Hazard avoided police action over his conduct after 17-year-old Morgan and his father, Swansea's largest shareholder Martin, decided not to take the incident no further.

Hazard and Morgan also apologised to each other in the Chelsea dressing room after the final whistle.

The Football Association said it was continuing to review footage of the incident and the Belgian's automatic three-match ban for violent conduct can be increased in "exceptional circumstances".

Swansea will not face any action over Morgan's role in the incident, as any complaint of time-wasting is considered an issue to be handled by the officials during the game.

Swansea stated after the game they had not told their ball boys to delay giving the ball back to the players, although Morgan had used the words "needed for time-wasting" in a post on his Twitter account - which has rapidly acquired some 90,000 followers - a few hours before kick-off.

It is not the first time that Hazard's frustrations have got the better of him - in 2011 he stormed out of the stadium after being substituted during a Euro 2012 qualifier for Belgium and was filmed tucking into a burger from a van outside.

Steven Martens, the chief executive of the Belgian FA (KBVB) said: "It's unfortunate and of course it's not something we are proud of. No football authority or person interested in football likes to see acts of violence or lack of respect and this is what happened.

"It might have happened in the heat of the fire but professionals are expected to be able to control themselves.

"They have to be able to control their emotions and when they don't that's unpleasant in general.

"Of course as we are the Belgium FA we don't like it to be a Belgium national squad player but I am very much convinced that Eden himself will realise that.

"Eden is more than intelligent enough to understand that this is going to be a lesson learned for him.

"All of us make mistakes in life."

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor does not believe Hazard should face an FA charge over the unsavoury episode.

But Taylor acknowledged it is "another stick to beat the game with" after a season marred by controversies.

He said: "There is obviously a process which the FA have to go through and it is up to them what they decide.

"But I don't think the young lad involved would want to see Hazard punished further.

"The referee made the correct decision on the night and you do not want people to be hung, drawn and quartered for things that happen in the heat of the moment.

"It is disappointing and Hazard has shown remorse and the two clubs handled the matter very well.

"It will be seen as another stick to beat the game with, but the game has always been about passion and emotions running high and it is a shame for this to overshadow the wonderful achievements of Swansea and Bradford - two clubs who have faced extinction - in reaching the final."

Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin claimed he would have done the same as Hazard while branding Morgan's behaviour as "disgraceful".

Nevin told BBC Radio Five Live: "I would have kicked the ball out from underneath the ball boy if he had been lying like that, 100 per cent.

"I was very, very disappointed by the way the ball boy acted, and I say 'acted'.

"He must have been watching footballers, the way he rolled around and pretended to be more injured.

"He only has one job and his job is to go and give the ball back, and what did he do? He keeps the ball. I have to say I was absolutely amazed to find he is 17, not 12, not 13.

"He should know what his action should be in that situation. His behaviour was disgraceful."


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