The world of football was reeling again tonight after yet another on-pitch scandal broke as Chelsea were unceremoniously dumped out of the League Cup by Welsh wizards Swansea, to set up an unlikely final date with Bradford City. The result was almost completely over-shadowed when Chelsea’s Belgian star Eden Hazard was sent off tonight for kicking a ball boy who lay on top of the ball in a crude attempt to waste time for his side.
At the time, Chelsea were losing, and the ball boy took it upon himself to smother the ball to eat up precious seconds with ten minutes left of the semi-final second leg.
Chelsea’s official Twitter account responded to the moment in incredulous fashion:
“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. #CFC”
The ball boy himself has come in for criticism, given his obvious time-wasting tactics, but the simple fact is that Hazard should have simply kept his head. But as with Eric Cantona’s infamous crowd-kicking escapades back in the 90s, the occasion can get the better of even the most talented of footballers, and tonight’s ugly scenes were the unfortunate result.
In the wake of the red card, it came to light on Twitter that an account belonging to one Charlie Morgan - the name of the ball boy in question – had bragged about planned disruptive behaviour at the game, proclaiming himself to be the king of the ball boys, and that he was needed for time-wasting in the big game.
It’s another ridiculous event in the soap opera that is top flight English football. And the sad fact is that Swansea’s achievement will no be over-shadowed by the ridiculous behaviour of an idiotic child, and the actions of the professional footballer who chose to kick him.
Do you think Hazard should be punished? Share your thoughts below.
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This article was first posted on January 23, 2013