Charlie Morgan, the ball boy in question, is the 17 year old son of Swansea’s managing director David who appears to have been pushed to the ground by Hazard and then kicked when he rolled on top of the ball in the 80th minute of last night’s League Cup semi.
With the game locked at 0-0 with ten minutes to go and Swansea leading by two goals on aggregate young Morgan looked to be trying to deliberately waste time by shielding the ball from Hazard who was keen to get the ball back in play.
In frustration Hazard lashed out at the 17 year old on the ground to move him off the ball before stepping over the prostrate child to pick up the ball.
Hazard’s ploy backfired spectacularly though because instead of restarting play the game was delayed for a number of minutes as players from both sides clashed, with Swansea captain Ashley Williams taking particular umbrage with the incident.
After the altercation had simmered down and the players had been separated, referee Chris Foy had no choice but to show the Belgian flyer a straight red card.
After the final whistle blew, Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez addressed the issue early on but reused to say what, if any, internal action the club would take with Hazard.
He said: “The boy has been in the dressing room and they have spoken. They have apologised to each other. They knew they were both wrong. He was wasting time. Hazard wanted to get the ball back quickly. They both made mistakes.”
Chris Morgan who has served as a ball boy at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium for six years had previously posted a number of things on his Twitter account that alluded to the fact that he and other ball boys had been called upon to waste time deliberately.
Swansea’s manager Michael Laudrup also waded into the incident saying; “I was a player and I can understand he was frustrated and you want the ball boy to give him the ball. I can understand it to a certain extent, but there are things you can never do.”
The incident has overshadowed Swansea’s remarkable achievement in holding on to their 2-0 aggregate lead they had taken over the defending European Champions at Stamford Bridge a few weeks earlier and reaching their first ever cup final in their 100-year history.
They will now face League 2 side Bradford City who made history of their own by beating another Premier League side Aston Villa to get into the League Cup Final.
They are the first side from their division to reach a major cup final in over half a decade.
While the Morgan’s have decided not to press charges against Hazard, South Wales police are looking into the incident themselves and may choose to press charges independantly.
Chief Supt Josh Jones said: ‘We are aware of the incident involving a ball boy at the Liberty Stadium. We are making arrangements for him to be interviewed.’