Ball boy boasted of ‘time wasting’ plans on Twitter before Eden Hazard incident
THE ball boy involved in an altercation with Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard during last night’s League Cup semi-final second leg match appeared to boast on Twitter just hours before the game that he was planning on time-wasting.
• Chelsea’s Belgian midfielder appeared to kick a Swansea ball boy who refused to give him the ball back towards the end of the match
• Charlie Morgan, the ball boy, met with Hazard post-match for a clear-the-air discussion
• No police action will be taken but Hazard could face action from FA and club
A tweet from 17-year-old Charlie Morgan read: “The king of all ball boys is back making his final appearance #needed #for #timewasting”.
And he appeared to suggest he had only been asked to work at the game due to the heavy snow in south Wales preventing someone else getting there.
“Haven’t been doing it this season been ask to come back to run them because the person can’t come in cos of the snow #manager”, his tweet read.
His Twitter account had swelled to almost 50,000 followers after the game.
The incident between the ball boy and the Belgian international overshadowed the goalless draw in the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final at the Liberty Stadium, which saw Swansea progress to the first major final in their history thanks to a 2-0 aggregate win.
It happened just over 10 minutes from time when Hazard lost patience as the ball boy, who is believed to be the son of Swansea director Martin Morgan, refused to hand over the ball after it had gone out of play for a goal-kick.
The ball boy fell to the ground as Hazard attempted to get the ball from him, with the Blues attacker then trying to kick it from under him but appearing to instead make contact with the youngster.
Several Chelsea players went to tend to the ball boy, who was left holding his ribs, before referee Chris Foy produced a red card.
The ball boy was taken down the tunnel but was unhurt.
Hazard issued an apology through Chelsea TV after the match, claiming he felt he had kicked the ball rather than the ball boy.
He said: “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 apologise.
“The ball boy came in the changing room and we had a quick chat and I apologised and the boy apologised as well, and it is over. Sorry.”
The 21-year-old could yet face a lengthy ban, though it is unlikely to be comparable to the nine months Manchester United’s Eric Cantona missed after the most high-profile incident of a similar vein in recent years, his infamous kung-fu kick at a Crystal Palace fan in 1995.
A Swansea spokesman confirmed no further action would be taken by the 17-year-old over the incident, and revealed he had spoken to Hazard in the Chelsea dressing room.
“The police have interviewed the boy and his father and there are no charges going to be pressed, as far as they are concerned that is the matter closed,” he said.
“The ball boy has been into the Chelsea dressing room after the game and shaken hands with Eden Hazard. The likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard were exemplary in their behaviour in welcoming him into the dressing room.
“Chelsea asked if he could come in and our kit lady took him in and they shook hands, he is fine.”
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez said that Hazard’s actions would be dealt with internally by the club, but it is another blow to the London club’s reputation in a season already including the John Terry racism scandal, the Mark Clattenburg affair and the unpopular sacking of Roberto Di Matteo.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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