Soccer Star Ejected After Kicking Ball Boy In Ribs During Match
LONDON (CBSDC/AP) — A top Chelsea soccer star was ejected during a match Wednesday night after kicking a ball boy in the ribs.
The incident happened during the 79th minute of the English League Cup semifinal match with Swansea when Chelsea’s Eden Hazard went to retrieve the ball that bounced off the advertising board behind the goal.
When Hazard ran over to get the ball, the 17-year-old ball boy – who has worked for Swansea for the past six years – fell on top of it. Hazard tried to get the ball from under the teen, eventually kicking the ball out from under him.
The crowd at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium roared when the ball boy turned back over holding his ribs, prompting the referee and several players to surround Hazard.
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While the ball boy was receiving medical attention, Hazard was given a red card and thrown out of the game.
South Wales Police investigated the incident but no charges will be filed.
“South Wales Police interviewed the 17-year-old ball boy with his father after the game and neither wished to press any charges,” Swansea said, according to The Associated Press. “It was an unfortunate incident which both parties regret being involved in.”
Hazard and the teen apologized to each other following the match.
“Chelsea invited the ball boy into the dressing room after the game to shake hands with Hazard and both parties apologized,” Swansea said, the AP reports. “The ball boy was very impressed with the welcome he received from the Chelsea players and as far as both clubs and individuals are concerned the matter is closed.”
Hazard said after the game he was just trying to get the ball from under the teen.
“The boy put his whole body onto the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball. I apologize,” Hazard said. “The ball boy came in the changing room and we had a quick chat and I apologized and the boy apologized as well, and it is over. Sorry.”
The match finished in an 0-0 draw but Swansea advanced 2-0 on aggregate and will face Bradford for the League Cup final.
Last year, Chelsea had to deal with racism scandals among some of its star players.
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