Hazard charged by FA for ball boy incident

As expected, Eden Hazard has been charged by the English FA for kicking a ball boy in this past Wednesday’s league cup semifinal match against Swansea City.

The FA charged Hazard on Friday for his violent conduct earlier in the week, but ruled that there was not sufficient enough evidence to hand him the customary three-match suspension. The Belgian winger, who apologized to the ball boy after the match, has until Jan. 29 to respond to the charge.

Hazard could still face a harsher penalty after that date, but will be relieved to know he is not going to face criminal charges.

While Hazard is being punished for his well-publicized actions, the FA also said on its website that clubs need to make sure field personnel act appropriately.

“The FA will remind all clubs of their responsibilities in ensuring ball boys and other personnel around the pitch act in an appropriate manner at all times and will liaise with competitions accordingly,” the FA said.

The incident occurred in the 78th minute of the second leg of Chelsea’s series against Swansea City, as Hazard desperately tried to put the ball back into play while a Swansea ball boy refused.

If you haven’t seen the incident or wish to view it again, here it is:

What do you think of the FA’s decision to charge Hazard for his actions? Should it have been more/less?

Share your thoughts below.

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78 Responses to Hazard charged by FA for ball boy incident

  1. A says:

    Utterly ridiculous.

    I would have kicked the kid in the face hard. I don’t even think Hazard made contact with the kid let alone hard enough to make the kid roll around. In case anyone hasn’t heard yet, the ball boy was SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD and the son of Swansea’s chairman, and on top of that was tweeting before the game that he was going to directly interfere in the match.

    This isn’t a playground. There are 10s to 100s of millions of dollars riding on the results of these games. You’ve got ownership’s children interfering the matches? Are you kidding me with this?!

    Give Hazard a medal and line the kid and his dad up in the net for target practice.

    I hate Chelsea.

    • Sean says:

      The ball boy is culpable, sure. But, kicking a ball boy? That’s what he did. Yes the ball boy is 17. But, he is technically a child. That’s not to excuse it. In fact, the kid should be banned from being a ball boy ever again, especially with this Twitter posts that suggest he planned on delaying play.

      But, Hazard is an adult. He is also a professional getting paid more in a week than most people do in a year. He makes more in a year than most people do in working more than 60 years or 100 years. For this adult male making that kind of money, there is no excuse for what he did.

      Here are some other options he could have taken.

      1) He could have appealed to the referee by waving his hands.
      2) He could have appealed to the referee by raising his wrist and pointing at a non-existent watch for time-wasting, which would have alerted the ref for time to be added on.
      3) He could have patiently waited to demonstrate that the ball boy was the jerk

      I have less sympathy for a guy making well over $200,000 per week for playing a sport.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        not sure why you’re fixated on how much money hazard makes. the pressure on the players of the top teams (who are expected to win every competition they enter) can be overwhelming, which they are being compensated for. not saying they deserve that much money, but it’s not my money, anyway.

        and if want to hold people to various levels of accountability depending on how much money they make, the ballboy is heir to a fortune (for doing nothing) that is more money than you or i (most likely) will see in a lifetime.

        • Sean says:

          This was called the “voice of reason”? I can’t decide whether to laugh or go eat comfort food.

          Different jobs all over the world have different levels of responsibility. A mistake as a fast food employee at a register is unlikely affect thousands of people. A mistake as a CEO of a company may affects thousands of livelihoods.

          If you think this is only about money, you’re wrong. The money is a part of the whole equation. I am not arguing about the pressure involved as a professional but if that’s why he kicked the ball boy, because of pressure? Well, that’s a serious misjudgment as an employee because he jeopardized the squad, etc.

          Listen, money is part of the equation because of the responsibility that you are entrusted with when you earn that kind of money. Maybe you just think you want to earn ten billion dollars and not be held to a higher standard than someone making twenty-thousand, but you’d be an extremely selfish person to believe that.

      • DanO says:

        Thanks for being a voice of reason here. I agree that the ball boy was way out of line and that he is a huge spoiled twit and never deserves to stand on a sideline again. Regardless of how much Hazard makes, he too was way out of line. Wrestling with a ball boy over the ball was far from his only course of action, regardless of how much pressure he was under. I hope all of the people advocating that the ball boy deserved to be kicked, or kicked harder, or kicked somewhere else are doing so out of sarcasm.

      • Seriously? says:

        Also, I don’t think he kicked the kid, he was trying to poke the ball out from underneath the idiot, who was doing exactly what he promised he would do before the match, try to waste time for his millionaire daddy’s team, and then he just flopped to the ground and rolled around as he learned from watching so many players do when an opponent might appear to have fouled him, even if no direct contact was made. Yes, it was not a good decision in hindsight by Hazard, but I think there was no malice in it, he was merely trying to get the ball away from a kid who knew exactly what he was doing. And btw, I too hate Chelsea, but I hate cheating ball boys trying to affect the outcomes of games even more, especially when they’re doing so with malice of forethought.

      • Danny says:

        I thought it was a bit funny that you referred to the 17 year old ball boy as “technically” a child since the age of consent in England and Wales is 16. So he is a legal adult really who would just charge Hazard with assault.

    • TomG says:

      +1. This stupid brat is being rewarded for cheating and behaving like an ass. I can’t stand Chelsea, but this kid is such an annoying little piece of trash and apparently Swansea is complicit in this. Swansea cheated, admitted it cheated, and gets rewarded for it. Why are there no charges against Swansea? I hate to see blatant cheating and simulation being rewarded. It disgusts me.

    • Tyler says:

      This is the greatest comment of ALL TIME!

    • patrick says:

      you really couldnt be any more wrong if you tried. Regardless of the ball boys intent, age, or family lineage, its NOT OK to assault anyone, be that a 4th official, a mascot (the kids in the introductions) the refs, a player, fan or anyone else they might come into contact with (no pun intended).

      Whether he made contact is also neither here nor there. His actions are unacceptable, particularly in the time when UEFA and FIFA are big on fair play and sportsmanship.

      The kid was clearly in the wrong, but other than throwing a left hook and spitting on him, I’m not sure Hazard could have chosen a worse interaction, which is why he was invited into the Chelsea locker room after. They all knew Hazard was wrong

      • byrdman says:

        I am not excusing Hazard, at least I don’t intend to, but it was hardly assault. maybe by the criminal law, which does not and should not be applied here. But come on. Do you really think he hurt that young man by toe poking at the ball. Hazard was foolish, and brain dead to do it. But that kid was acting all the way.

    • Chris says:

      You know that world is in a poor state when the first comment on this article is one advocating for child abuse.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        oh sweet jesus

      • A says:

        Kicking a 17 year old who is intentionally interfering with your job adult is child abuse?

        • Dustin says:

          Kicking anyone is battery. It doesn’t matter if they’re interfering, you’re not allowed to hit someone unless they hit you first. That is the ONLY thing the law grants you.

          You are wrong, and to your first point about millions of dollars riding on this stuff. Do you want to rethink how money is more important than a persons well being?

          • Old School says:

            Here comes Mrs. Orange Slice.

            Proceed with caution.

          • A says:

            Run out on the field during an NFL game and get back to us after you wake up breathing through a tube.

          • Sean says:

            No one deserves to be physically assaulted. Maybe you think these are “first world problems”. But, this is pure human decency and the inalienable rights of a human being.

            Having said that, this ball boy should be banned for life. And, he shouldn’t earn one dime for the incident because he was doing something crooked and dirty.

          • Seriously? says:

            Is kicking a ball battery? How do you know he kicked the kid, because he was rolling around hold a part of his body? Are you new to watching professional soccer, and would you have believed that Hazard had kicked the boy in the head if the kid had started holding his face when he was rolling around? Do you honestly think that if this big, bad soccer player (who is reportedly smaller than the ball boy), had actually kicked the kid, the parents would be in such a rush to say nothing happened?

      • byrdman says:

        Child Abuse… please!!! The problem with our world is we don’t hold young people accountable for their actions. This should apply to both. Hazard and the ball teen. Not a boy. But revoking his privilege to be on a ball teen is not accountability.

        By the way, for some reason my name didn’t get posted to my comment

      • Seriously? says:

        you know that the world is in a poor state when someone could in any possible way interpret this as being even remotely related to child abuse, unless it was in jest, which sadly I’m guessing it wasn’t. Have you ever seen an actual child take something they shouldn’t, like a steak knife, and an adult tries to get it back while trying not to strike or cause any harm to the child (which is what happened here). Is that child abuse too? Or do you think that because he was rolling around, then he must have been injured, because children, be they 7 or 17, would never lie about something to try to get some sort of advantage.

        The sad thing is, when people like you try to call something like this child abuse, what you end up doing is making child abuse seem less onerous and objectionable, never mind criminal. If you are so protective of children, read about the boy who cried wolf, and maybe learn something about what happens when you call an alarm too many times for things that are not alarming.

        • Chris says:

          An adult kicked a minor.

          Child abuse.

          Doesn’t matter the circumstance, doesn’t matter what you’re twisted views of the world are.

          Deal with that, morons.

          • Seriously? says:

            “Child Abuse has been defined as an act, or failure to act, on the part of a parent or caretaker that results in the death, serious physical or emotional harm…”

            So was Hazard the parent or caretaker of Morgan? By your description of what happened, assuming his foot struck the kid and not the ball, It would be assault, but not child abuse. How about having even the slightest clue of what you’re talking about before calling others morons.

  2. Old School says:

    I hope Chelsea/Hazard decide the reasonable route of taking the punishment and DO NOT appeal it.

    While I’m stating my “hopes”, I hope the ballboy is recovering (sarcasm). I also hope he’s never allowed to continue his duties of time wasting and only allowed to watch matches as a spectator.

  3. boosted335 says:

    the ballboy was being a little trick. Hazard should be suspended but so should the ballboy

    • Old School says:

      Hrmm.

      Suspended or fired? I have a hard time justifying the 17 year old remains an employee, personally.

      • elgringorico says:

        I think it was his last day as a ballboy anyway, which is part of the reason why he did it. The other part being his dad is a majority owner of Swansea.

      • biff says:

        No, this was not Charlie’s last day as ballboy. He already was officially retired as ballboy and attends college and drives a sports car. The story from Swansea is he was called back in at the last minute because another ballboy could not make it because of bad weather. I am skeptical of that story and think it is possible Charlie got called in to do exactly he did–use his delaying tactics. And it is funny, Swansea officials now want the story to die, want to end the investigation and move on. Personally, I want to see Swansea officials and ol’ Charlie forced to give written statements to the FA…

        • patrick says:

          so, you think that the Swansea officials knew that they’d have a lead late in the game against the defending European champions, and that the ballboy would be in a position to waste enough time to impact the game? That would be some incredible foresight

          • Nate Dollars says:

            you may not be familiar with the situation. this was the second leg, with swansea already up 2-0 due to the first leg. if you watched the game, swansea was clearly taking the opportunity to keep the clock ticking.

            i’m not saying biff’s theory is correct, just that it’s not as implausible as you seem to think.

            • patrick says:

              no, i watched the entire game, and it’s still ridiculous to think that Swansea would be trying to waste time the entire game, and even more ridiculous that they’d employ ball boys to do so. It’s one thing to take your time on free kicks, goal kicks etc its another thing to insinuate that a team is hiring folks to do things like this.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            Oh, c’mon. For the period before I progressed from HS JV to varsity, I like the other JV players had to serve ballboy duty at a varsity game. The job is usually not paid, it’s a quasi-honor (and this “kid” is the rich son of a board member, it’s not about money). Part of the big show.

            Do you think we were in the business of quickly getting the ball back in play for the other side? There’s all sorts of subtleties……too high on the toss, too wide on the toss, get to it then drop it, etc.

            But falling on it like a goalkeeper in a pro game, and staying there? And he tweeted about it pre-game, and even if he wasn’t told it explicitly, he seemed to know what his mission was.

            I also find laughable that we will presume good intent of the ballboys but then the players are rolling around on the ground, etc., milking the clock themselves.

            The English view it as a gentleman’s game and therefore everyone who misbehaved will get the stick on this one. Rightfully so. But to me the kid and Swansea knew exactly “what the score was.” Just like Hazard did when he’s like, I’m not putting up with this. He shouldn’t have done what he did, but put yourself in his spot, and basically your best possible response is flailing your arms like a Shakespearean actor to earn an unknown addition to the running clock on the ref’s watch, which as anyone who’s actually played knows, is sometimes a dubious victory.

          • Sean says:

            Media has reported that the ball boy bragged on Twitter prior to the game that he was being brought in to help waste time for Swansea.

          • biff says:

            Oh my gosh. Patrick, please tell me you are joking, mate.

            • Chris says:

              Just because a dumb child tweets something stupid doesn’t mean its the truth btw. I highly doubt the kid was told to waste time.

  4. byrdman says:

    Somehow Swansea has to be sanctioned for their employee, a 17 year old young man who had already tweeted he would do something, who deliberately involved himself in the game. He is the cause of the problem. He deserves an academy award, and a pink slip. First he feigned falling over, when he practically dove on top of the ball, and then refused to give it to Hazard, when he repeatedly asked for it and then tried to grab it. No way was he injured. He then milked the contact and attention for all it was worth. Ridiculous. If I was Chelsea i would be saying something!

    • elgringorico says:

      I agree, the kid was the cause of the incident and deserves almost all of the blame. I just don’t know if saying something or causing a big stir will benefit Chelsea in anyway. The game is over, move on. The kid will be dealt with.

  5. Dinho says:

    The ball boy is not blameless, but Hazard should know better. Appropriate ban.

  6. Eric says:

    The ball boy just wanted to try and get the number of the Chelsea physio. Can’t really blame him there.

  7. Alex says:

    that such a joke! Hazard should have kicked that moron harder! maybe even in the face for his intentional motives to draw attention

  8. brad says:

    Total BS…

    The FA needs to contact all clubs, and let them know that they will not tolerate the actions of Ball Boys…

  9. solles says:

    the ballboy definitely milked this but WTF was Hazard thinking? can’t believe some are saying Hazard did the right thing, the ONLY thing to do in that situation is let the refs deal with it.

    • B says:

      That is true IF you think he kicked the kid in the ribs to get the ball out. However for those people (including myself) who think Hazard kicked the ball to un-wedge it from him and the kid pretended to get hurt say Hazard did little wrong. Is not much than if the kid had it in his hands and Hazard punches it out of his hands. The kid duped him into it and deserves almost all the blame.

      The angle no one else seems to be mentioning is one of general sportsmanship. What does it say that this kid watches football every day and thinks its ok to fake injuries and waste time. Well he’s just mimicking the “professionals” he watch do the same thing on the pitch every day. I still believe in sportsmanship and self-respect.

      I hate Chelsea by the way so no bias. Happy Swansea won.

      Oh and Redknapp agrees with those saying its all on the ballboy

      • patrick says:

        you cant seriously bring up sportsmanship while attempting to defend Hazard kicking at a ball boy, can you?

        • Seriously? says:

          You can’t seriously bring up sportsmanship when attempting to portray the kid is a victim, can you?

  10. Georkt says:

    I see that everyone has the same opinion. While I’m no Chelsea fan some one has to be the adult here and it clearly was not the FA.. The ball boy (NOT) should have been dismissed immediately for extremely poor sportsmanship and bringing disrepute to the game. Hazard was not so bright in being suckered into that red but the ref had no choice. I’ll go with A’s comment.

  11. daggius says:

    hazard didnt do anything; the kid was acting just like the rest of his bs. why didnt the dumbass kid get the red card?

  12. KenC says:

    He should go to jail.

    The 17-yr old not Hazard. That’s the worst faking job I’ve ever seen. If your ribs are bruised or hurt, you don’t twist your upper body!

    • Joe says:

      Yes, he should go to jail….and so should Hazard for faking injuries like the Flemish boy he is. All the time, dude looks like he gets shot by a cannon anywhere near the 18.

      Seriously, get a grip man, Lord almighty. You are probably the same person that castigates fan violence and wonders why people are such zealots. As a matter of fact, I am curious as to what the hell you think someone who speeds and gets into a car accident should receive as commensurate punishment? The stocks, flogging, drawn and quartered?

      Am I being too obtuse or just following your line of ill conceived logic?

      • Seriously? says:

        I think you’re being obtuse, I think KenC was using a bit of hyperbole, for the sake of amusement, and doesn’t actually think the kid should go to jail.

  13. Monty says:

    This is fair. I think a 6-8 match ban would suffice. Then we could put this issue to bed.

    • CplDaniel says:

      6-8 match ban?? Hell no! Not for what that kid was doing! He needs to be banned from Swansea home games for the rest of the season.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      3 games like Colin Clark. Make the point that this won’t be tolerated but acknowledge the level of frustration.

      But god knows what he actually gets because something like Cantona is probably the precedent.

    • Seriously? says:

      That seems fair. I assume you mean banning the kid from attending matches.

  14. Ryan says:

    Criminal charges? This idiot ball boy should face criminal charges for stealing all of these headlines.

  15. catfish says:

    I saw the one angle where it seemed clear that he toe-poked the ball out from under the punk with little if any real contact with the young man’s body. This is a damn joke to be frank. Swansea’s Chairman’s kid, up 2-0 in probably biggest game for club in last 50 yrs and jagoff tweets he is going to interfere?? FA should bring the hammer down on that punk ass club.

    On the other hand I won’t defend Hazard as he shouldn’t have done what he did. But in my eyes the kids actions were far worse in their totallity than Eden’s. He is taking far too much heat in my opinion.

  16. THomas says:

    My favorite part about this whole incident is seeing the Swansea players rush over to confront Hazard in support of…a ball boy. To me, that’s pretty cool.

  17. Brett says:

    Was the ball boy fined for trying to delay play in an important match? I think Hazard was kicking the ball away, not kicking the ball boy.

    The FA should make an example of the ball boy in my opinion.

  18. Seventeen says:

    I think everybody realizes the ball boy was being a complete @ss by holding the ball, however he is only 17. I did some stupid things at 17. He should be disciplined like a 17 year old. Hazard is the adult in this situation. How would everybody feel if Hazard did the same thing to a 12 year old or a girl? If Hazard had turned to the ref rather than kicking the ball/boy it would have ended even quicker. After the kick the boy did what a lot of children do and dramatized the situation. They both deserve punishment, the 17 year old as a juvenile and Hazard as an adult.

    • Seriously? says:

      Except that Hazard didn’t try to get the ball away from a 12 year old girl, he tried to get it away from a 17 year old who is apparently bigger than the Belgian. Plus, I really can’t picture a 12 year old girl, in front of a big crowd like that, acting like such an ass, falling on a ball and trying to keep a player from getting it, in front of all those fans, on international TV.

    • A says:

      Eden Hazard is literally only 4 years older than this “kid.”

      “Kids will be kids” is ridiculous. He isn’t a kid. He committed a premeditated interference in an EPL soccer match where the pressure on people like Hazard is immense. And he should understand that even more being the SON OF THE CLUB’S CHAIRMAN.

  19. biff says:

    By the way, here is the link to ball”boy” Charlie’s Twitter account. Totally hilarious.

    link to twitter.com

    • Old School says:

      “Crazy 24 hours. Spoke to Hazard and I will not be pressing charges. Be in touch”

      Bahahaha.

      I nearly spat up my water when I read that. Kid has a career at Barcelona to replace Busquets or in Hollywood.

  20. Eric Griesheimer says:

    you cant kick him, but geez, what a turd. That kid should not be permitted in stadium again let alone be on field. He was obviously obstructing the game.

  21. Aero says:

    I really wish their was a poll on this… My own opinion is that Hazard should be commended for trying to dislodge the ball from this punk… and Swansea, who I like a hell of a lot more than Chelsea, should be fined…

  22. DaveInSLO says:

    Hey, kid. Get up and stop humping the ball.