FA charge Hazard over ballboy incident
Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard has been charged with violent conduct by the FA after an incident with a ballboy in the Capital One Cup semi-final against Swansea on Wednesday.
Hazard was sent off by referee Chris Foy in the second half after he appeared to try and kick the ball from underneath a ballboy who was laid prone on the ground and will now face a three-match ban with the possibility of an even longer one if the FA deems his actions suitable.
A statement from the FA read: "The FA have charged Chelsea's Eden Hazard following his side's League Cup semi-final at Swansea City on 23 January 2013. It is alleged that Hazard's behaviour in relation to a Swansea City ball boy, for which the player was dismissed in the 78th minute, constituted violent conduct whereby the standard punishment that would otherwise apply was clearly insufficient.
"The player has until 6pm on Tuesday 29 January 2013 to respond to the charge. 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."
After the match, Hazard spoke on Chelsea TV to clarify what happened during the tense occasion.
"The boy put his whole body onto the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball and I think I kicked the ball and not the boy. I apologise," he explained. "The ball boy came in the changing room and we had a quick chat and I apologised and the boy apologised as well, and it is over. Sorry."
The ballboy, named as 17-year-old Charlie Morgan, met with police at the stadium and revealed that he would not be pressing criminal charges after the game.