Chelsea's Eden Hazard charged with violent conduct by the English FA
Hazard appeared to deliberately kick a ball boy in a League Cup semifinal match
Hazard was sent off as Chelsea were knocked out by hosts Swansea
NEW: South Wales Police announce no action against Hazard
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was charged by the English FA with violent conduct Friday after his sending off for kicking a ball boy in his side’s League Cup match at Swansea earlier this week.
Belgian international Hazard was already set to receive an automatic three-game ban, but a statement on the FA website said his actions “constituted violent conduct whereby the standard punishment that would otherwise apply was clearly insufficient.”
Hazard has until January 29 to respond to the charge. The case will then go before an FA disciplinary panel who will decide on any punishment more than than three matches.
Hazard, signed by the European champions last summer, was shown red by referee Chris Foy in the 78th minute of Wednesday’s match at the Liberty Stadium, with his side still trailing 2-0 on aggregate from the first leg.
Hazard lost patience when the ball boy, 17-year-old Charlie Morgan, was slow to hand the ball back to him after it had gone out for a goal-kick.
Morgan fell to the ground as Hazard attempted to wrest the ball away from him before the 22-year-old Chelsea midfielder took more drastic action.
In attempting to work the ball from under his body, TV replays indicated Hazard had made contact with his boot.
With the winded ball boy left on the ground, Foy sent off Hazard, leaving Chelsea with 10 men for the remainder of the 0-0 second leg draw.
Swansea’s achievement in reaching the League Cup final at Wembley where they will play fourth flight Bradford, was obscured by the post-match controversy surrounding the incident.
While Hazard has been widely condemned and has apologized to the ball boy, there has also been criticism for the youngster’s time wasting antics.
This was also covered in the FA statement Friday as English football’s governing body sent out general advice.
“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,” it read.
Hazard received better news later Friday when South Wales Police announced they would be taking no further action after three official complaints had been lodged against him by separate members of the public.
“We can confirm there is no longer any police involvement in this matter,” read a statement on their official Twitter feed.
The police also said that they had interviewed the ball boy and he did not wish to make any formal complaint.