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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Chelsea contest Hazard ban extension

Chelsea have written to the Football Association to contest any attempt to extend midfielder Eden Hazard's ban for kicking out at a ballboy to more than three games, according to the BBC.

Hazard, 22, was sent off by referee Chris Foy in the second half of the Blues' League Cup semi-final second leg at Swansea when he appeared to try to kick the ball from underneath a ballboy who was lying on the ground.

The Belgium international will face a minimum three-match ban, with the possibility of a longer suspension if the FA deems that to be appropriate.

A statement from the FA said: "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."

However, Chelsea are angry about the possibility that the incident could be punished with a ban beyond the standard three matches, and have written to the FA to oppose such an extension.

A four-match ban would rule Hazard out of the FA Cup replay against Brentford at Stamford Bridge on February 17, while any further suspension would see him miss the crunch clash at Manchester City on February 24.

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