A bizarre story from the world of soccer today. Chelsea star midfielder Eden Hazard was ejected from the Capital One Cup Final vs Swansea for kicking the ball boy.
The events that led to the ultimate ejection are a bit fuzzy. Chelsea was down 2-0 when the ball went out for a kick goal with 13 minutes remaining. Yahoo Sports summarizes the proceeding chain of events as such:
Both the ball boy and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard reacted, with the ball boy beating Hazard to the ball by a step. The ball boy then slipped and fell to the ground/was pushed to the ground by Hazard/purposely dove to the ground to prevent Hazard from getting the ball in an attempt to waste time (you can decide on your own), and he then rolled over and either intentionally or unintentionally shielded the ball from the Chelsea player. Hazard, instead of protesting to referee Chris Foy or the ref’s assistant, then made a kicking motion toward the boy’s stomach.
The social media world erupted with differing stances on Hazard’s action–was the ball boy playing up the incident or was he truly the victim? Certainly, there’s no defending Hazard’s reaction, but was the ball boy’s move premeditated to fritter time off the clock for the down 2-0 visiting team Chelsea?
The final punishment for Hazard has not yet been determined, but it’s been widely assumed that he will miss at least a few games for his actions.