Soccer

Chelsea's Hazard charged by English FA for kicking ball boy

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Associated Press
1/25/2013 12:25:23 PM
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LONDON -- The English Football Association charged Chelsea winger Eden Hazard on Friday for kicking a ball boy, a move that could add extra games to his three-match ban for violent conduct.

After reviewing footage of the incident, the FA said the standard suspension would be "clearly insufficient" and gave Hazard until Tuesday to respond to the charge.

Hazard was sent off for kicking a ball boy in the 79th minute of the Wednesday's League Cup semifinal match against Swansea as the Belgium winger attempted to retrieve the ball after it had rolled out of play.

The 17-year-old ball boy refused to return the ball promptly and dropped down on top of it, prompting Hazard to aim a kick underneath the teenager to release the ball.

Both Hazard and the ball boy, Charlie Morgan, apologized to each other after the match and were spoken to by police. Morgan and his family said they would not be pressing charges and South Wales Police said Friday that they were no longer involved in the matter, having been obliged to follow up three complaints by members of the public.

In the FA's statement, the governing body said it will be reminding "all clubs of their responsibilities in ensuring ball boys and other personnel around the pitch act in an appropriate manner at all times."

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins said he was eager to move on from the incident.

"On a personal note I find it remarkable that there is any thought of police action," Jenkins said Friday. "Things are done in the heat of the moment and probably everybody looks back and wishes things had been done differently. We accept how things are and all move forward."

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez said any disciplinary action taken against Hazard by the club was an "internal" matter.

Eden Hazard (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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