Chelsea star Eden Hazard ejected for kicking ball boy

(ABC News) -- The highlight of a soccer game between Chelsea and Swansea in Walesturned out to be an incident involving a player on Chelsea, who wasejected after apparently kicking a ball boy.

Chelsea star Eden Hazard was ejected Wednesday for kicking at a ballboy who didn't return the ball to him quickly enough in the finalminutes of a semifinal game in the English League Cup.

The ball bounced off an advertising board behind the goal line atSwansea's Liberty Stadium late in the scoreless match. A 17-year-oldball boy picked up the ball, but when Hazard tried to reclaim it tocontinue the game, the ball boy went down to the ground and smotheredthe ball.

Hazard, 22, tried to lodge the ball free with his hands but wasunsuccessful. Hazard then kicked the ball free from under him, butapparently made contact with the teen, who was left holding hismid-section.

Several Chelsea players were seen tending to the ball boy and helpinghim to his feet after the incident. The ball boy left the game. Areferee gave Hazard a red card, throwing him out of the game.

"Has football gone mad?" Chelsea said on its official Twitter feed."Hazard is sent off for kicking the ball under a ball boy attempting tosmother the ball rather than return it."

The ball boy's name has not been released. No criminal charges have been filed.

"The boy put his whole body onto the ball and I was just trying tokick the ball and I think I kicked the ball and not the boy," Hazardsaid after the incident, although he still apologized.

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez said Hazard met with the ball boy after the incident.

"They both recognize there was a mistake," Benitez said. "The boy wasapologizing for time wasting. Hazard was frustrated and tried to getthe ball. He was kicking the ball and getting the ball."

The match finished in a scoreless tie, but because Swansea scored twogoals in their two previous meetings, it advanced to the next round.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment