Kicking and screaming: Workplace ‘Hazard’ for ball boys

Posted on January 25, 2013. Filed under: Sports |

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There’s been much public debate since the incident involving Belgian international and Chelsea midfielder and a Swansea City ball boy.

Some contend that the red card shown to Hazard was ‘extreme’, suggesting that the referee should have exercised better judgement/discretion in making such a decision.

However, the FA said on Friday, January 25 that the red card constituted an “insufficient” punishment for the offence.

An FA statement said: “The FA has charged Chelsea’s Eden Hazard following his side’s League Cup semi-final at Swansea on January 23, 2013. It is alleged that Hazard’s behaviour in relation to a Swansea 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.”

It continued: “The player has until 6pm (1800GMT) on Tuesday, January 29, to respond to the charge.”

Hazard was already set to serve an automatic three-match ban for the red card in Wednesday’s semi-final second leg at the Liberty Stadium, where a goalless draw left the Blues out in the cold on a 2-0 aggregate defeat.

The FA’s statement seems somewhat harsh given that both the ball boy and Hazard met with each other and apologised for their actions.

Could the FA’s apparent stance be stemming from the fact that the ball boy, Charlie Morgan, is the son of Swansea City’s biggest shareholder? I’m just thinking out loud here.

This unfortunate turn of events came in to being all from something which ought not to have happened in the first place.

I’ve heard no mention made of sanctions for Morgan or the Swansea City Club. Are they not culpable too? Ball boys should discharge their duties with the same degree of professionalism as the officials and players. Where that professional display is breached then sanctions should follow.

Truth is that ball boys sometimes delay the game by a few seconds. That’s just the game. If it gets out of hand, a player should alert the game officials. The referee can warn the ball boy or request that he be replaced.

The ref can add on more time if it really gets out of control. Kicking at him is foolish, unsporting and warrants a red card. Sure Morgan was obviously time-wasting but how much time do you really think was lost before Hazard lost his temper? Less than a minute.

Lesson: Sport requires discipline and a display of high professionalism by all involved on and off the field of play.

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