The biggest disappointment of the Eden Hazard ball-boy saga was that the incident overshadowed Swansea’s remarkable achievement of reaching a major final, writes Josh Harrison.
Michael Laundrup’s side defeated Chelsea 2-0 on aggregate to reach the Capital One Cup final, but the main talking point of the tie occurred ten minutes before the end of the second leg when Hazard appeared to kick out at a 17-year-old ballboy.
Charlie Morgan, the teenage son of the City director Martin Morgan, had flopped on top of the ball in an attempt to waste time and Hazard, attempting to retrieve the ball, apparently kicked Charlie in the ribs.
The young ball-boy proceeded to display an almost embarrassing show of theatrics, similar shown by many footballers in the premiership, and this may have influenced referee Chris Foy’s decision to send off the Belgian international.
Many Chelsea fans were left infuriated when it was discovered Charlie had tweeted “The king of ball boys is back making his final appearance #needed #for #timewasting.”
Although this was probably intended as a joke, it does raise questions as to whether he had been told to waste time whenever he could by the club.
What most fans can agree on is that both Hazard and Charlie were in the wrong; Hazard should know better than to kick out in an act of rage, while Charlie shouldn’t have acted with such immaturity in a major cup semi-final.
After the game the pair apologised to each other and Charlie’s father announced his son would not be making any complaints or talking it to the police and this should have been the end of it.
The FA, however, thought it would be necessary to charge the Chelsea star with violent misconduct.
Yes, it was an act of stupidity, which was rightly punished with a red card, but other professionals have since come forward to offer their sympathy with the midfielder, saying they would have done the same thing.
I do not think Hazard’s three-match ban should be increased but it seems now that it will be, and this would be a very harsh decision.
The only thing that should continued to be talked about is Swansea’s chance of lifting the cup.
Laundrup’s first question in his post-match interview should have been about their success, but unfortunately he was asked to comment on the ugly scene which marred the game.
Swansea now have a fantastic opportunity of winning silverware, and it’s a shame there hasn’t been more focus on this, instead of the actions of an immature ballboy, and a hot-headed footballer.
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