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Another dark day for football!

Now I know that yesterdays disgraceful scenes at the Liberty Stadium had no direct impact on Tottenham Hotspur, but for me it was something that shames the game as a whole.

Perhaps to write about a disgrace and shaming the game, might seem an over reaction to some, but clearly yesterdays ball-boy kicking by Eden Hazard was another blow to our game, though for me, the Chelsea player was only one part of a problem where cheating and bad sportsmanship is gaining an ever stronger strangle hold on the game.

Clearly Hazard was wrong and acted stupidly, and within the letter of the law and probably spirit of the game was rightfully given a straight red card and may well even receive a greater punishment than the standard ban. This is probably something that will and should happen, for the image of the game. However, should there be sanctions against Swansea, as their 'ball-boys' were clearly making hard work of retrieving the ball and that is their one and only job after all. Would they get away with that lazy attitude on the centre court of wimbledon? I think not… Proving any team instructed ball boys to waste time is difficult, however they are representing a club and therefore are their responsibility.

If we look at the individual incident, though there is no way to defend the indefensible with Hazard, but to a degree, I understand his frustration, at someone not only wasting time, but by what was clearly a deliberate act of making it as hard as possible for Hazard to get the ball. Now lets not get carried away with the idea that this was some innocent twelve year old here, we are talking about a lad of seventeen, who knew exactly what he was doing and perhaps may have been acting with others to slow things down and assist his team.

Not only did Charlie Morgan, who is the son of a Swansea director, slow down in his efforts to retrieve the ball, but when he bent down, Hazard was already in a perfect position to take the ball as his feet were touching it and I'm sure he was verbally indicating that he wanted the ball. Seeing the lad then move to get his body between player and ball and then fall on it, was comical, but for me a clear act to stop a rival player from restarting play. Hazards trying to get the ball and ultimately kicking Morgan, was ill advised, but surely in the heat of a highly charged moment, but do we really believe he intended to hit or harm anyone?

Perhaps this can and will be a catalyst to make the authorities look at gamesmanship and cheating and take action. Ball boys hanging on to a ball as a means to waste time is hardly a new problem, nor is using a towel before taking throw-in or suddenly deciding that someone else should take it. Keeper's walking around the goal the longer way to retrieve the ball are not new or innovative ways of winding down the clock, but not only should refs take a tougher stance on such incidents, but perhaps by reporting clubs who use whatever unreasonable means to waste time, there should be punishments from the governing bodies, just as there should be for any other cheating such as diving or faining injury.

Sadly for the game, this one incident takes away much of the glory of Swansea City getting to a Wembley final, but when I look at their direct or indirect part in the Hazard sending off, I actually feel that they, Charlie Morgan and Eden Hazard should all take responsibility for yet another act of stupidity and gamesmanship that is blighting our game and needs to be stopped. For those Spurs fans who still only see one villain in Hazard here, be honest and ask yourselves whether your reaction would be different if it were Tottenham in that semi final and Gareth Bale did what Hazard did? Whether we admit it or not, I have a feeling that our view would be slightly different...

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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 24 2013

Time: 8:45AM

Your Comments

Well done to Swansea.
Congrats to Swansea and i have not seen the incident but is it really as bad as you say??
6 of one and half a dozen of another. The 'ball boy' (aged 17) looks a harden little **** and his twitter mesages before the match will implicate the club.
Zummerzet Spur
Oh and good to see Swnsea knock out the chavs. :-)
Zummerzet Spur
Excellent well considered piece OX, I'm with you all the way on this one....
Chelsea, Hazzard and that dumb arse ball boy can all do one.
well done ball boy... i remember a game at the lane against Anorthosis of Cyprus, where the ball boy threw the ball at the player.

nice little ban for Eden...
No doubt there wasn't any malicious intent but if it were acceptable to go and kick time wasters due to frustration then the Chelsea team would be battered and bruised. Comical the way the kid flopped about like he had been shot, even more comical when Chelsea fans say he flopped about like he had been shot despite not really getting touched yet will say Ba should've had a penalty after swan diving at the slightest of touches. Not a good day for football no and there's certainly guilt on both sides but personally can't see pass the kids antics as a repercussion of emulating modern football.
Dark day for football??? This is an isolated incident that no doubt will get blown out of all proportion by the media as per usual! If I was Hazard I would have done exactly the same!! In fact I would have gone one further and kicked The little $.hit in the face! In the dying embers of a game when adrenaline is pumping and your trying hard to get back in the game the last thing u need is a stupid little to$$er acting a fool and running down the clock.
Hahaha just seen the Hazard V Ball boy clip, that is absolutely hilarious. I mean the ball boy looks like a complete and utter chav but you cant go around booting kids Hazard. When I heard it on talk sport I thought it would be a little tap but he proper starts booting the “ball” haha……it really has made my day that clip. Would have been even funnier if the ball “boy” (looks about 20) got up and chinned him. I reckon he could have taken Hazard lol Bit silly of Bale to start Tweeting defending Hazard….bet the Welsh are loving that Gareth!!

On a different note, what really annoyed me was the Bloke who came on talksport this morning, saying how wrong it was etc and the kid was maybe just trying to have a laugh!!...this was an ex professional who said that!! 2-0 down in a cup semi final and the ball boy thinks he will have a laugh and lay on top of the ball?? Im not saying what hazard did was acceptable but there needs to be an investigation into why the ball boy did it. Was he told to or is he just a complete mong?
At the end of the day, you've got a ball boy who has one job who then wants to flops onto the ball and stays there laying on it…then he shouldn’t get to do that job again. I know it’s hilarious that it happened to the chavs...but it still shouldn't be allowed to happen. Just give the ball to the players actually playing the game? Let the result go down to the better team. Goal Keepers have done it loads of times as're on the pitch loosing, you put the ball in the net and need to get the ball back to the spot for kick off and the damn keeper won’t give you the ball. Sorry but its so ******** annoying...
let's put the rivalry behind us for once on this issue,how would you feel for example spurs playing against us in a semi final match by 2 - 0 down on aggregate and one of our ballboys act like the swansea ball boy in the dying minutes for the game?? you people should put yourselves in Hazard's shoes,what would have been your reaction??and Hazard kicked the ball not the boy and the boy even posted on tweeter that he did it intentionally.i know Hazard could have done better than kicking the boy and if care is not taking every team in the BPL will employ this tactics in their various stadium,so please cut Hazard some slack
if hazard was a bit smarter he would have stood back with his arms folded,thus implicating the little cretin.not too sure if the little fool was that injured but was playing up to the attention,i mean he had to finish what he started......obviously not a Chelsea fan and more than happy to see them go out of the cup for playing complacent football ,(good luck to both swansea and bradford),but i do feel that hazard is being treated unfairly.the youtube clip says it all.blatant play acting from the ball-boy as he looks to the ref for a reaction.
g. roberts testes
lampardzachariah - you make a good point. I actually have sympathy for Hazard. The ball man (he was 17 s could have actually been playing in the match!) deliberately tried to hold up play (and he said he would do as much in a tweet he posted yesteday afternoon). That said no professional player can touch a member of the public during a match and go unpunished. Had it happend to us at Spurs I would have been very frustrated but would exect our player to get a 3 match ban. I would however make a formal complaint against Swansea as they are responsible for thier ball boys / men!
why is everyone saying he kicked the boy?the youtube clip CLEARLY shows he kicked the ball from UNDERNEATH him as it rolls free.the kid even sits up,forgets about his "injury" for a few seconds and looks at the ref....COME ON!haaa-haa!
g. roberts testes
I saw the clip I see Hazard give a good kick to the ribs. lol. Red card for sure regardless of how frustrating the actions of that kid was. Wonder how many weeks ban he'll score. Good for us. btw. Hello darkenvai! Long time no see. :-)
Both Ball boy and Hazard are complete idiots, and there is no excusing either of them. Hazard should get at least a 6 game ban, but likewise, the ball boy should never be allowed to take on that role again
Cut hazard some slack? He's a professional footballer paid £100'000 a week or more who (like it or not) is a role model for millions The ball boy is a little chav who is about to watch his little club beat the (worst ever) champions of europe. You ask us to put ourselves in Hazards shoes, I say you put yourself in the little chavs shoes. If I'm Hazard, I stand, cross my arms and make sure the ref knows to add time and you can best he will add more than the chav wasted.
Tottenham Hotcore
Sadly, another two foriegners doing crimes of passion, on / in a football arena.
and finally assuming it was Balotelli and that boy in this
lampardzachariah i agree with what u say. I even think Hazard should have the red card rescinded. It's ridiculous! Obviously he wont get the red card rescinded but I think the ball boy should lose his job.
What Hazard did was the exception. He reacted stupidly out of frustration and will got his punishment with a red card and a ban. Unfortunately, what the the ball boy did is not the exception. It wasn't one crazy kid looking to get involved. It is way too commonplace in the game and needs eradicating. The clubs are clearly endorsing the tactic and coaching their ball boys to do it. The FA need to start with a communication to all clubs threatening points deductions for any ball-boys "time wasting". They need to make it clear that it's a zero tolerance area.
This is an incident for the referee to deal with, timewasting - adds time on at the end (we all know may not be all of it) and the sending off is correct under law 12, I believe. The way Chelsea were playing in the 2nd half, they could have stayed out there a week and not scored so made little difference in the grand scheme of things. If THFC had been so inept at 2-0 down I would have something to say about not having a go at it. Poor. WELL DONE SWANSEA.
It clearly shows the ball boy deliberetly held on to the ball and Hazards kick was a toe poke to try and kick it out from under him but it caught the boy instead of the ball. I don't think there was intention to hurt the lad but it was a risk to take but he just didn't think for that split second. He could have tried to lift the boy up with his hand but then again it would have been seen as some kind of assault that is the nature of our society can't touch anyone without the fear of being in trouble. However, trying to toe poke it out was risk taking but no intention to hurt the lad. The lad should be banned from doing the job as well because they should not behave like that. Both parties were wrong Hazard got a red and will be punished the lad should be punished for his part as well.

Good result for Swansea
The incident is comical but in the same breath dumb. Both ball boy and Hazard have acted immaturely. What concerns me the most is the media spin that has started and the debate and potential aftermath of the whole incident. I see football heading down the road of American sports where the clock stops as soon as the ball is dead, this means a 90 minute game will last up to 4 or 5 hours and we'll be fueled with advertising breaks and more money in the game. This is the start of the end!
Absolute hogwash Ox! Im not happy this site loads a porn website when I log in on my phone! Should i pop round there and give the Fear a kick in the nuts? Or my boss wont give me the bonus I think I deserve so I throw the water cooler at her? There is no defense for Hazard! He is a professional and above that its morals and standards that ones family would give you. This incident only highlights the 'phuck everyone else' attitude at Chelsea FC. I hope he gets banned for an extended period.
thfan there is a diff between attempting to poke a ball away and kicking. Hazard clearly kicks the kid.
If it had been Torres...he would have missed him
I reckon it was a kick too. Looked like it.
A well written and balanced article. With incidents like this, we'll end up with the FA demanding neutral ball boys before long. 17 year old ball boy behaving like a child and an overpaid football mercenary behaving like a bigger child. Ban them both.
The thing I find strange is that the boy's father had agreed to put this incident to bed. As a father, albeit of now very adult children, if Hazard had done that to my son, for whatever reason, I'm afraid he would have got a severe slap, I would have taken any opportunity to "put him on his arse". If the boy was refusing to return the ball, the referee is able to get it back, add the appropriate time to compensate, and have the ball boy removed, who the bloody hell does Edin Hazard think he is. How many games ban will he get for his "red card", it had better be 3 games as for serious foul play, rather than a 1 game, this will have the maximum effect on both him, and his club, and perhaps they will then see fit to censure him, what an advert he is for our game, he is a lout.
Frank, I don’t have children so its difficult to say how I would react if that were my lad. But there’s one thing im certain of, whatever I decided to give Hazard, I would give my Lad 10 fold! He has completely disgraced his father in front of millions. Like ive said above I don’t condone what Hazard did but it just shows the lack of respect teenagers have today. Do you think a ball boy would have done that to Bobby Charlton?? Im sure if he did he would have got more than the ball kicked from beneath him and a good lash of the belt front his dad. Someone said above it show the “phuck you” attitude of Chelsea, well I also think it shows the phuck you attitude of todays youth. BTW im only 29, and have been assured by my own father that I was a nightmare up until 5 or 6 years ago lol
I think the 'boy' got off lightly. Hazard should've kicked him in the balls for holding onto his ball. Fairs fair. Crazy club where one boy gets shot by Ashley cole at training, and another gets kicked in the ribs during a game. Truly Chelsea are the "entertainers".
van der haart lane
talk about sensationalising it!!! just do what refeeres do and watch the ball....Hazard kicks the ball that's why it pops out the other side of the ball 'boy'. Now Hazard shouldn't have done that as it could be seen as agressive and certainly could have caused a public disorder so I think the red card was deserved but a 3 match ban is enough in my book. Now had he been booting a 12yr old in the ribs to get the ball back as some have portrayed it then he should go to prison for assault but that was not the case, it should be seen for the storm in a teacup that it really is.
The ball boy had not got a touch all game and took the hump,thats my ball thats my ball thats my ball ! Hazard only wanted the ball to finish game so just give him a rib tickler.think they would buy the kid his own ball to play with.
Little spur
Dark day for football! get a grip Ox....
Not as black and white as people are making out mate. The 'kid' is 17, nearly 18 (hazard is only 22), he posted on twitter his intentions prior to the game, he is seen drinking alcohol on his twitter page too, so to say hazard has battered an inicent child is totally incorrect. If a 17 year old was winding up a 22 year old inside a pub and ended up getting slapped nobody would bat an eyelid. Also what the fu(k is a 17 year old doing being a ball boy??? the chavvy pri(k needs to grow up.. Hazard didn't help himself and a red card is well justified, give him a 3 game ban and leave it at that, i'd also sack the ball'boy', plenty of other lads would love the oppertunity and i expect would be more responsible.
the ball boy is one of the directors of swansea's sons, lol. he is a young man in a job that thousands of boys his age could only dream of doing. he has just passed his driving test and daddy has bought him a brand new Audi A3 tdi s line in white for nearly £30,000. the very least he could do is help daddy out by ensuring daddy gets a bonus from being in the final of the cup with the best chance of winning the trophy they will ever get.
Well said tomyid
Apparently the FA are to get involved, so we will see what happens.
The darkest part of my day was getting to the end of it with still NO new striker in sight for Spurs!!!! losses or no losses, new stiker is absolute key to securing top 4!!! GET IT DONE!
It is not Edin F...g Hazards job to referee the situation, it was the referees. It was Hazards job to play, not very well, on the night as it happens. Just the same as Eric Cantona at Crystal Palace years ago, he reacted to provocation and irrespective of, and whether you agree with the alleged provocation, he has committed assault and should be dealt with appropriately, either by the law, or by natural justice, i.e, a fecking good kicking to see how he likes it.
Nobody who has slagged off Hazard would take that position if it had been Spurs rather than Chelsea. Just because you're a Spurs fan, doesn't mean you have to have knee jerk reactions to anything one of our rivals does. I love Swansea and don't like Chelsea, but that ball boy was a total dick. I hope any Spurs players would have stuck the boot in too.
Give it a rest Frank.
the little bast==d wouldnt have done that back in my playing days, ie ron harris, norman hunter. they would have kicked him out of the ground.
Frank – you totally contradict yourself mate, on one hand you’re saying two wrongs don’t make a right, then your saying hazard should get a kick-in himself!!! You’re calling what hazard did assault (extreme), but you would do the same to him!! Very strange argument!!! Also, please don’t compare this b0llocks to what Cantona did, it’s ridiculous!!
Frank, Hazzard kicked a ball. Why should he get a kicking for that?
Could be worse. Hazzard almost signed for Spurs and could have been kicking a ball boy wearing the badge of the cockerel. But he signed a contract with a club owned by a thug, so his behaviour is appropriate there. If a ball boy is wasting time, tell the referee that he needs to add more time after 90 minutes. It's his job. It's not a player's job to kick a ball boy, even if provoked. I'd surely hate to see a lad weating our kit on a pitch doing this sort of thing. I know what Danny Blanchflower would think about it.
Total knobhead
Garreth should have stayed clear of this one, if it's true he started Tweeting supporting Hazzard. Don't go there, Mr. Bale. Stay well clear.
Total knobhead
Gary Hooper apparantly on a flight down to to London...... Oh dear!!
The way I wanted it to play out in my mind was that the ball-boy did his time-wasting bit, then Hazard kicked him in the ribs and then Ashley Williams run over and knocked Hazard out for being a coward and picking on a 17 year old. Why do these stories never finish with a happy ending? :-)
And why didn't the ball-boy turn out to be a 5th dan martial artist who then acted in self defence and showed Hazard some moves? :-)
The poor kid could have been killed, i hope he's ok. Poor little angel.
It's a Dark Day for journalism....
won't be sorry if we 'miss out' on Diame he really looked awful when I saw him against Citeh....yes he can run, yes he's big...perfect where he is. Hooper isn't the type of striker we need imo... see Llorente has gone to Juve as expected....still most agreed we only needed two quality signings at the start of the window so we still have time....unless of course Levy thinks Holtby and Fryers are the two!
I hate the chavs but they were done over this time - Graham Roberts would have kicked the little $&*% into row z. Good article Ox.
It's not a dark day for football, most of us will forget this non-event by the end of today. The 17 year old "kid" was barely touched.
Sissokho's agents can want what they want. He still goes for free once his contract is done. They get money from the new one but nothing from the old if it has run out. COYS
'dark day for football' - LOL, give me a break. Our sport is an absolute embarrassment if this is 'news'. Its more of a dark day for football that Sky Sports decide to start their news hour with 7 minutes reviewing this 'incident' rather than focusing on Swansea making their first ever Cup Final. Our sport is a joke these days.
Agreed SRV. People saying "if that was my son I'd have slapped Hazard", what a joke, if that ball-bloke was your son then maybe you should have raised him a bit better, instead of seeing him embarrassingly rolling around like he'd stepped on an IED. My only regret is that he missed his face with his boot.
I am on record having written an article about it, saying that the present disciplinary system is not fit for purpose and should be overhauled. I have advocated introducing mandatory substitutions when a player is sent off to avoid the ruining of so many games. The result last night was probably not influenced because of the timing but if it had been earlier.......It also again highlighted the additional need for sanctions to be applied retrospectively in the form of league points deductions for accumulative misdemeanours like diving, swearing, time wasting or other forms of cheating for which yellow cards are no real deterrents. Only points deduction has the power to force behaviour change.
Love totty
spot on crissybwoy! Hazard toe poked ball away end of. silly thing to do, but does not warrant all this bollox ffs kid deserves a slap. where is our new striker levy. get your finger out.
Lucky it wasn't Terry-He'd have ****ed him.
Can't understand but it doesn't surprise me people advocating what basically was an assault. The ball wasn't even a Chelsea ball it was a Swansea goal kick. It is the referee's job to police time wasting and Hazzard had no place even being there let alone kicking the boy. WTF has the car he drives or if he gets drunk got to do with anything, that just smacks of jealousy pure and simple.
I remember when one of our ball boys held the ball for a while. Then when the player in an Europa game pressed him for it he hurled it at his nuts. The same mugs saying Hazzard was right were hailing our kid as a hero. The double standards and pure idiocy on here at times is something to behold.
The actual incident was brilliant, comical and my biasness says ban Hazard for life, actually put the pr1ck in prison. But this (kicking a chav isn't even a free kick in Sunday league) and the continuous media coverage of diving is so boring. I actually heard one journalist refer to diving as the 'cancer of football' (Sunday Suppliment). Compare footballs 'problems' to drugs in cycling and the press are really clutching at straws for a contious story.
Don't really agree Judge. Our kid was a hero because he's a 'yiddo, Yiddio, yiddo', there are also twitter accounts of the boy saying he would deliberately waste time pre-match. The boy wound Hazzard up, wound him up so much he retaliated by trying to get the ball back, made contact in the process but didn't actually intentionally kick him.

Best ball return was fan that throw the ball back to pires, twice!
Judge, you see, we do agree. Hazard had no business getting involved. He merely needed to look to the ref and time would have been added. Every team's staff wastes time, when convenient. After we scored to equalize against Man U, our personnel were not in a huge hurry to chase down balls. Converesely, at ManU, when they were chasing it, their staff and players were very good at making sure we had the balls for throws an corners immediately. I even remember when we were trailing at home, the ball rolled to Sir Alex who held on to it, made it look lik he was going to hand it to our player for the throw and then just dropped it on the ground. 3 seconds here, 5 seconds there. Everyone does it. Never, can that be used to exonerate anyone from what is not only assault, but technically, battery.

As for the pre-match plan to do so, it is again not Hazard's job to get involved (methinks setting up or scoring a goal would have helped his team more), it's the League's. If that is out there, fines should be levied. None of the antics take away from the fact that Chelsea looked unable to deal with a well coached Swansea team. Swansea against Bradford in the League Cup. That's the story. COYS
Time wasting *****es me off and referees unfortunately don’t always deal with it. Take the Stoke game, Berkovic decides at every goal kick to walk slowly to the opposite side of the goal that the ball was put out, puts the ball down, moves it around a bit, make some funny tactical signals to the rest of the team when everybody knows he is going to hump it to Kenwyn Jones. Then unfit fat man Lee Mason allows 2mins at half time which just about covers Dembeles injury. I can put up with Stokes long ball and trying to throw it into the net, but I cant stand time wasting, particularly when refs don’t allow for it. I pay enough for my ticket, I want to see 90mins. Against Stoke I reckon I only saw 80mins which may of deprived Spurs a winner.
matt hoten
what sh**e some people write these days. assault, MY AR*E!
most fans at VC were berating hazard's action because of the negative image the media would print out of this scenario, offcourse hazard is a professional and should learn how to check his emotions, but he is not a robot, he is human who can make mistakes at the heat of the moment, if that was my son I'll give him a spanking for shaming himself and me in front of millions of football fans. Some of you are making it look like the boy broke a rib or got bruises there... Thumbsup to the unbiased spurs fan who won't agree to such shameful acts
very well put des. a bit of common sense at last.
coopsie- brilliant post lol,
Fair play to the lad - he done his bit for the team - stupid as it was and Hazard didn't shower himself in glory. Just a couple of kids that got it all wrong. Made me laugh though. Now I'm fed up of hearing about it.
The ballboy should be marched out into the centre circle of Stamford bridge and the chelsea team each get to give him one good root up the hole and then Hazard should recieve the same punishment from the Swansea team! The whole thing was a bloody disgrace, from Hazards ***** poor attempt to lif tthe young fella off the ball to the even worse simulation by the young lout in question. After his tweet before the gameabout time wasting Swansea shoudl be charged with bringing the game into disrepute. The answer to all this time wasting and ending Fergie time is to follow the lead of Rugby and Basketball and stop the clock when the ball goes out of play. Then we will have multi millionaires having to play a full ninety minutes of football every game!
Slurms McKenzie
Coopsieyid shut the ***** up you imbecile. You are paranoid and an idiot. I stated my personal opinion, you disagree who cares? If it's nothing to do with the car he drives why mention it? So what if he is spoilt, so what if his dad is rich? You are a sad educationally subnormal jealous chav. You should do yourself a favour go to the doctor seek help for your paranoia. Once that is dealt with then visit the local college get some education, improve your prospects so you don't have to work on the bins all your life, and be jealous of people who are more successful in life than you. Vendetta don't make me laugh I have made no more than 20 posts in the last 8 months none of those have had anything to do with you. You are an insignificant no mark of seriously low intelligence. Why on earth would I have a vendetta with you. I doubt you even know what the word even means. Definition of a vendetta is a prolonged series of retaliatory, vengeful, or hostile acts. Your Macmurphy (credit to lord johnny) style rant is typical and shows how you seem to have a vendetta against anyone what doesn't agree with your standpoint.
T.H.F.Chris you are entitled not to agree I don't need affirmation of my views you have an opinion I have mine. Peter that must be a first!

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