Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | League Cup

Chelsea players © Action Images

Players back Hazard over scuffle



Players and ex-professionals spoke out in support of Eden Hazard on Thursday after the Chelsea winger was sent off for kicking a ball boy in a League Cup game at Swansea City.

Hazard was shown a straight red card by referee Chris Foy in the 80th minute of Wednesday's semifinal second leg after attempting to kick the ball from beneath a ball boy who was lying on top of it, apparently deliberately.

The pair later apologised to each other, but Hazard could still face charges from the Football Association after receiving the first red card of his career.

The boy was identified in media reports as Charlie Morgan, the 17-year-old son of Swansea director Martin Morgan.

In a message on his Twitter account written before the game, Charlie Morgan appeared to joke that he would try to waste time in a bid to help the home side protect their 2-0 aggregate lead.

"The king of all ball boys is back making his final appearance #needed #for #timewasting," he wrote.

By 1445GMT on Thursday, the account had attracted over 88 000 followers, although Charlie Morgan had not written anything since the incident.

Stoke City striker Michael Owen defended Hazard's actions on Twitter, writing: "Both the kid and Hazard were in the wrong. Not having (accepting that) Hazard tried to hurt him though. He just tried to toe poke it out of his grip."

Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale also sided with the Belgian international, tweeting: "Unbelievable decision by the referee to send Hazard off but congrats to Swansea."

Hazard, 22, was Chelsea's star close-season signing, arriving from French club Lille for a reported fee of £32 million ($50.7 million, 38 million euros).

He has made an impressive start to life at Stamford Bridge, scoring eight goals and laying on 12 assists in 37 games, and one of his Chelsea predecessors, Pat Nevin, believes he was more sinned against than sinning at Swansea.

"I would have kicked the ball out from underneath the ball boy if he had been lying like that, 100 per cent," Nevin told BBC Radio 5 Live.

The former Chelsea winger also branded Charlie Morgan's behaviour "disgraceful".

"I was very, very disappointed by the way the ball boy acted, and I say 'acted'," he said.

"He must have been watching footballers, the way he rolled around and pretended to be more injured.

"I have to say I was absolutely amazed this morning to find he is 17 –not 12, not 13. He should know what his action should be in that situation. His behaviour was disgraceful."

However, the chairman of players' union the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), Gordon Taylor, said Hazard's behaviour was "unacceptable".

"You can't take the law into your own hands," Taylor told BBC Sport.

"He lost his head and had to receive a punishment."

Taylor added: "You can understand the frustration of wanting to get the ball back, but his actions were unacceptable and the referee had no alternative."

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher said Foy had "taken the correct action" by showing Hazard a straight red card.

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez criticised the ball boy for "wasting time", but Swansea vice-chairman Leigh Dineen said Hazard had been wholly in the wrong.

"You can't kick out at anybody. I don't think you can do that. If it was done on the field of play, there would be plenty of questions to be answered," he said.

Swansea will face fourth-tier Bradford City in the tournament final on February 24, and Dineen joked that the south Wales club would consider taking their own ball boys to Wembley for the game.

"If we need to," he said. "I am sure Wembley will have their own."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Pre Season Friendly - Liverpool v Roma
Opening Ceremony - Glasgow
Hockey - Women: Australia v Malaysia

Sports Talk



Dr Errol Sweeney
World Cup refs return home ‘battered and bruised’
The World Cup is over for another four years and already the post mortem has started into some...

Sunday Oliseh
What Germany did to become champs
The 2002 Japan and South Korea World Cup saw the Germans lose in the Finals to Brazil, thanks to...

Collins Okinyo
Amrouche is his own worst enemy
Thunder has struck twice with news of Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche being slapped with a...

Claudia Ekai
Save our Stars
First and foremost, it is not all over for Harambee Stars in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations...

Carol Radull
The Harambee Stars' secrets
A week ago Kenya’s Harambee Stars hosted Burundi in our first international friendly this year. I...

Emeka Enyadike
Joachim Loew: German lessons for Africa
How do you win the World Cup? How do you prepare a team for the greatest show on earth? How do you...