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Jan 25, 2013

Wenger: Hazard and ball boy both to blame

Arsene Wenger has weighed into the ongoing furore over Eden Hazard and a Swansea ball boy by stating that "both were wrong" but, also, that any punishment beyond the red card would be "ridiculous".

• Macintosh: The Eden Hazard affair

The Arsenal manager condemned both parties for their respective actions in the latter stages of Wednesday night's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg between Swansea and Chelsea. Wenger claimed that the ball boy - 17-year-old Charlie Morgan - should not have wasted time and added that, although the Chelsea player did not want to hurt him, Hazard went in "too strongly".

"Both were wrong," Wenger said. "The ball boys are there to get the ball back as quickly to the players and into the game, they are not there to waste time. You have to educate the ball boys, that no matter if it is the home team or the away team, you have to get the ball back as quickly as possible.

"Everything else is not acceptable. For the rest, Hazard is not a violent player. He wanted to get the ball back as quickly as possible, which you can understand. In my opinion, he went in a little bit too strongly but I don't think he wanted to hurt the ball boy. He just wanted to get the ball back as quickly as possible."

Wenger also stated that a line should now be drawn under the incident with no further punishment for Hazard.

"Yes, we should not become ridiculous there," he added. "He did not want to harm anybody. You finish the story with the red card."

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