sport

Hazard apologises to ballboy

Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard has apologised to the ballboy who was the centre of attention after the Capital One Cup semi-final, second leg in Swansea finished goalless.

With time running out, Hazard was sent off after kicking out at the prostrate youth who was lying on top of the ball at the side of the pitch at the Liberty Stadium.

South Wales police questioned the boy and his father after the game but will not take the matter any further.

Hazard 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."

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez added: "The ballboy knows he was wasting time. We are disappointed to lose the player but we cannot change things. They both recognise there was a mistake.

"The boy was apologising for time wasting. Hazard was frustrated and tried to get the ball. He was kicking the ball and getting the ball.

"We can analyse it for half an hour but we know that both are wrong."

A Swansea spokesman said: "The police have interviewed the boy and his father and there are no charges going to be pressed, as far as they are concerned that is the matter closed.

"The ballboy has been into the Chelsea dressing room after the game and shaken hands with Eden Hazard. The likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard were exemplary in their behaviour in welcoming him into the dressing room.

"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."