OT - Chelsea Soccer's Eden Hazard kicks ball boy

Submitted by Blazefire on January 23rd, 2013 at 11:01 PM

I know this is pretty OT, but I thought we might all enjoy a little debate about it. If you haven't seen this yet, take a watch below:

In the above video, Chelsea star Eden Hazard decides that the proper response to a kid's fumbling (gamesmanship? Does it really matter?), is to give him a swift kick in the ribs. I thought I would check in to see what you all think about this. A few points for discussion:

1 - How do european soccer fans' responses to this compare to US sports fans' responses to players on field activities? I notice a lot of commenters beneath that video are berating the boy for falling on the ball, basically defending Hazard's kick.

2 - In that vein, what was the boy doing there? Some say he was trying to kill time to hasten the end of the game, towards whatever ends. Others say Hazard pushed him over and he was just discombobulated on top of the ball after he fell.

3 - Is a red card enough for this kind of behavior? The boy was not a player in the game nor a part of either team. Whether you think the boy was simply clumsy or intentionally trying to mess with time in the game, do you think a red card handles it, or should there be something more severe?

4 - How does this differ from, say, a streaker trying to get into the game, and getting clocked by a linebacker or something? When those guys get hit, do you feel they deserve it?



January 23rd, 2013 at 11:07 PM ^

Certainly the kid doesn't deserve to get "kicked", though I am skeptical of how much he was "kicked"... that said. He tried to stall the game up, by doing so he put himself in the action... That Cal trombone player took one in the kisser because he wandered onto the field. If this kid didn't lay on the ball, we wouldn't be having this discussion. From what I have read both sides have apologized and they met in the locker room afterwards as well.


January 23rd, 2013 at 11:15 PM ^

F that. That dude needs an ass whipping. Refs, fans, chain gang etc, are off limits no matter what. Athletes no this. It's hard to tell but it does appear he gives him a shove.


January 23rd, 2013 at 11:57 PM ^

Match Penalty, but you're almost certainly right about this as well. Also, yes Blazefire; I don't know if this is my hockey background or what, but all sports should have a rule equivalent to a match penalty for attempt to injure (Gholston helmet twist, anyone?) or misconduct against officials, fans and deliberate disruptions to the game from a coach*:

  • Significant in-game disadvantage (major penalty in hockey [5mins of penalty kill])
  • No communication with team until review by league administration (max 30 days)
  • Maximum penalty is a lifetime ban, minimum is time served (major + suspension day[s])

*Coaches are handled differently (due to the difference in infraction), but the gist is the same in that you do not want this penalty, at all.


January 23rd, 2013 at 11:45 PM ^

The kid being a little shit is actually debateable. I have fallen on a soccer ball like that before and it can knock the wind out of you. The Chelsea fuck may have accidentally knocked him to the ground and the kid clearly lands on the ball. Whether it was his intent to waste time or not is debateable. It's possible, but debateable.

What is not debateable, is that the soccer douche canoe should've been fucking mauled by everyone. Even if I was on his team I would've knocked him out and probably rearranged his face while he was KO'd.


January 24th, 2013 at 12:22 AM ^

Should not have been 'kicked' but definitely completely stalling. If he was just 'clumsy' then he should be fired because he is not capable of doing the easiest job ever.


January 24th, 2013 at 8:31 AM ^

What is not debateable, is that the soccer douche canoe should've been fucking mauled by everyone. Even if I was on his team I would've knocked him out and probably rearranged his face while he was KO'd.

No, you wouldn't have, Internet tough guy.

Blue in Yarmouth

January 24th, 2013 at 3:22 PM ^

I certainly think the red card was warranted, but after watching the replay a couple of times I was of the impression the kick was directed at the ball, not the kid. It looked to me that he tried to kick the ball out from under the kid and missed. It was also said following the game that the kid was milking it and he admitted he was barely touched.

Again, I am not trying to excuse Hazard (I hate Chelsea and anything bad that happens to them is good in my books), but it looked like it wasn't exactly an attempt to injure the kid, just release the ball. 


January 23rd, 2013 at 11:21 PM ^

That kid had no business being on the pitch. If the ball is not over the sign, you let the players get it. PERIOD. The kid put himself in the game for no reason and made it worse by diving over the ball. I have no sympathy for that kid.


January 24th, 2013 at 12:06 AM ^

You missed the point of his comment.  In the video you can see boards around the field, usually when a ball bounce off the boards the players just grab it.  Also the kid is cleary intentionally stalling and bragged about it on his twitter.  The kid is a little shit, doesn't mean what hazard did was smart and he will get punished but I don't feel bad for the kid either.


January 23rd, 2013 at 11:45 PM ^

I personally don't really think it matters whether he was trying to kick the kid or kick the ball. In my own eyes, they're pretty much a single unit at that point in time. Whether his intentions were to kick the boy or kick the ball, either way, Hazard must know that some "jarring force", if you will, will be levied on the boy.


Now, do I think the kid sold it like a boss? Of course. I don't think that is the point though. Like another poster said, there are officials to manage the play of the game, including tallying how much time has been wasted in order to add it back on in stoppage time. Hazard was completely in the wrong in kicking period, whether it was directed at the boy or the ball. Just my two cents.


January 24th, 2013 at 12:01 AM ^

Ok, so he's "trying" to kick the ball out from under the ballboy.  So what.

Hazard clearly makes contact with the ballboy, so his motive doesn't really matter (other than it might mean he's suspended for a month instead 3 months).

And this crap about the "ballboy deserves it cuz he got involved in the game" makes no sense.  Let's say it wasn't a ballboy, let's say it was a Swansea player doing the exact same timewasting (which happens all the time in various forms), and Hazard kicked him.  He'd still deservedly get a red card and be branded an asshole, just like now.



January 24th, 2013 at 12:15 AM ^

At least a player is supposed to be on the pitch. This kid was an intruder. It would be more like a football player clotheslining a streaker on the field. Would the player be chastised for it? Yes. Would I feel bad for the streaker? No.


January 24th, 2013 at 12:23 AM ^

Yep, a streaker, with all his clothes on, standing on the sideline and not even close to the field, with an ID badge allowing him to stand there, who is expressly permitted to interact with the football.

But otherwise, just like that.

It doesn't have to be analogized with any other situation.  He's a ballboy who was timewasting and Hazard kicked him. 




January 24th, 2013 at 11:14 AM ^

A streaker may be allowed on the field on other times, just not during the game. A ballboy may go and get the ball when it is far away from the pitch, just not when it bounching back to the pitch and there is already a player nearby. I have no sympathy for people who put themselves in a situation they should not have been and get hurt.


January 23rd, 2013 at 11:23 PM ^

I feel like they should suspend both of them, Hazard and the ballboy. You clearly can see him cover the ball with his hands when he falls on it. I don't believe for a second that he just stumbled on top of that ball.


January 23rd, 2013 at 11:28 PM ^

Ban Hazard for a couple of months. You simply cannot do that to a fan, ball boy, ref, etc. The ref would have been adding on time and woud have been well within his rights to kick the ball boy off the field. That is some shit you'd see from a pair of 6 year olds.


An interesting note, and one that I don't think excuses Hazard in the least, but the ball boy is only 4 years younger than him.


January 23rd, 2013 at 11:40 PM ^

In 1994 Eric Cantona of Manchester United kicked a fan (some say after being provoked) and was banned for 4 months.

Whatever the ball boy may be doing, for Hazard to be taking it out on a young lad when the result is not going his way is certainly not acceptable.


January 24th, 2013 at 12:29 AM ^

Hazard's apology was "The boy put his whole body on to the ball and I was trying to kick the ball and not the boy. The boy came into our changing room and we had a quick chat. I apologised to the boy, he apologised as well and it’s over. Sorry"

He says he wasn't trying to kick the ballboy, but that phrasing clearly says he did kick him, albeit unintentionally.

The Bugle

January 24th, 2013 at 6:30 PM ^

Do you really think the events are comparable? Let me show you a picture of Cantona...

IMO Hazard deserved the red and the mandatory 3 game suspension that goes along with it.  But that is where the punishment should end.


January 23rd, 2013 at 11:57 PM ^

I hope they both learn that their are consequences to every action. I'm sure all of us need a kick to the ribs at some point in our lives. Hazard seems like an ass and the kid will be fine. Life lessons are great.


January 23rd, 2013 at 11:58 PM ^

The analogy that comes to mind (and I'm not much of a sports guy), is Ron Artest, whose provocation was more than anything the ballboy did here.

So assuming Hazard was not just trying to poke the ball free, then no, a red card doesn't seem on par with what happens in one case in the US.


January 23rd, 2013 at 11:58 PM ^

When Lampard and Hazard are talking to the ref, the ref goes (in disbelief) "Did you kick him???"  
Hazard says some sort of his side of the story, but without another word the ref pulls out the red card and motions him off the pitch.  


January 24th, 2013 at 12:09 AM ^

He could very well lose his place on the national team, or banned for a spell of future matches. I know the then Scottish Captain Barry Ferguson was banned from further selection at all for making moderately lewd gestures during a match. It clearly looks like he tried to clear the ball from under the kid, but it was still a silly thing to do. I'm sure the kid was fine, it wasn't much of a kick, but he should definitely be disciplined because of it.


January 24th, 2013 at 12:59 AM ^

Ferguson (and Allan McGregor) were held out of a qualifier against Iceland for violating curfew and getting shitfaced after a qualifier earlier in the week against Holland.  They then spent the game doing the equivalent of giving the finger (inverted "V" hand gesture) to the crowd throughout the game as they sat on the bench.  Repeated asshole behavior even after punishments were dished out got them in trouble, not a single "heat of the moment" lapse in judgment.  And Hazard hasn't been a guaranteed selection in the Belgian side even when on his best behavior (they have loads of talent and the manager has been pretty reluctant to put up with even the mild, non-violent prima donna antics of Eden).

Their "lifetime ban" was so strong that McGregor is and has been Scotland's clear #1 goalkeeper (poor Craig Gordon) for the last few years and Ferguson was welcomed back into the squad within a year, only to turn down the invitation from recently fired manager Craig Levein.

Luckily this is all behind us as Wee Gordon Strachan prepares to invade Wembley this summer.  If only we can get Darren Fletcher to stop going for burritos in Manchester with Chicharito things are looking good.

Alba gu brath!


January 24th, 2013 at 12:07 AM ^

The ball boys are told to move slowly when their team is winning and move quickly if their team is down late in the match. This type of scenario happens often and the players yell for the ball and if they do not receive it quick enough complain to the ref and let him handle it. Hazard's actions were completely stupid. Even though he was trying to kick the ball he deserves a decent sized suspension, perhaps a month long ban.

In this video the player has reason to get mad at the ball boy but just lets it go and continues to play:



January 24th, 2013 at 12:14 AM ^

How can people say he kicked the ball?  Watch the video.  The ball is buried under the left side of his body.  He kicks him cleanly on the right side while reaching out for the ball with his hands.  He kicked him.  Stop making excuses.