UK & World News

  • 24 January 2013, 10:31

Chelsea Kick Ballboy Made 'Timewasting' Joke

The ballboy who was kicked by Chelsea star Eden Hazard after refusing to let go of a ball had earlier joked about "timewasting" in a tweet.

Hazard has apologised for the kick during his losing side's Capital One Cup semi-final against Swansea last night and he is not facing criminal charges.

South Wales Police said they have spoken to 17-year-old Charlie Morgan - who did not suffer any injuries - and his father, a Swansea club director, and no complaint has been made.

The teenager was kicked by the Belgian player after refusing to give him back the ball late in the match.

Before the game, Charlie had tweeted: "The king of all ball boys is back making his final appearance #needed #for #timewasting."

Hazard was sent off and Chelsea lost 2-0 on aggregate, sending Swansea through to the cup final against Bradford at Wembley.

Hazard later insisted he had kicked the ball - not the ballboy.

He told Chelsea TV: "The boy put his whole body onto the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball and I think I kicked the ball and not the boy. I apologise.

"The ballboy came in the changing room and we had a quick chat and I apologised and the boy apologised as well, and it is over. Sorry."

Next month's Capital One Cup final will be Swansea's first major final in their 100-year history but the achievement was overshadowed by Hazard's kick.

With just over 10 minutes remaining and Chelsea needing to score twice to take the tie to extra-time, he lost patience when Charlie refused to hand over the ball after it had gone out of play for a goal-kick.

The teenager fell to the ground as Hazard attempted to get the ball from him - and the Blues forward then tried to kick it from under him but instead he appeared to make contact with the youngster.

Several Chelsea players went to tend to Charlie, who was left holding his ribs, before referee Chris Foy produced a red card.

After the game Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez said that Hazard and the ball boy had exchanged apologies in the dressing room after the match.

"The boy knows he was wasting time," he said. "Hazard was frustrated and trying to get the ball back.

"We can not change the situation. We are disappointed because we lost a player. The best thing for us is to move forward."

A Swansea spokesman confirmed no action would be taken, and that Chelsea had invited Charlie, who has been a ballboy at Swansea's Liberty Stadium for six years, into their dressing room.

He said: "The ballboy has been into the Chelsea dressing room after the game and shaken hands with Eden Hazard.

"Chelsea asked if he could come in and our kit lady took him in and they shook hands, he is fine.

"As far as we are concerned the matter is closed. He has been a ballboy here for six years with no incidents here at the stadium."

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup said he expected Hazard would regret the incident when he views it on television.

"I saw it from a very big distance from the bench," he said. "I've since seen it after the game. Hazard is a great player. When he sees the images I think he will regret it."

But he added: "I can understand all the frustrations when you are behind."

There was a storm of reaction on online fans' forums after the match.

At TheShedEnd.com, Chelsea fan Mike Carefree posted: "Ballboy should get an Oscar", while on unofficial Swansea site PlanetSwans.co.uk, forum user Copenhell wrote: "Sign him as a goalkeeper now, that ball boy."

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