Hazard kicking ball boy, FA also at fault?

By Walter Broeckx

I would have loved to start with writing an article about the game from last night where we won in rather pleasant way.

Alas, alas, alas… I had to watch the game on a not that good internet stream. I could see most of it but missed the Podolski goal live as the stream jammed. It happened a few times in the second half so I really don’t want to comment on it before I can really see the game completely.

And to bring in more bad news I wanted to see the game on the Arsenal Player but for the moment my internet connection is so slow that it takes 30 seconds to upload half of the images. So I called it a day and will try later on when my internet provider is giving me the promised speed.

So I turn my attention to another incident in another game: The Hazard/ballboy kick.

First the facts in a row.

  • Ball boy tweets before the game he will try to waste time.
  • Ball boy smothers the ball below his body and refuses to give it to Hazard
  • Hazard kicks out at the ball boy in an attempt to kick the ball underneath him
  • Hazard hits the ball boy with his leg
  • Hazard gets a red card

So let us start with the start. Ball boys are only allowed in a game when the ref gives his permission.

We all know that in most cases when a home team offers ball boys the ref will allow them to do their job. But this also means that the ball boys have to do their job in a proper way. The reason they are out there is to prevent time wasting.

Clearly the ball boy in question didn’t do his job as could be expected. The fact that the tweeted before the game he would waste time could indicate that maybe there were some instructions given by Swansea itself. It could have been the ball boy’s own initiative. But in any case the ball boy didn’t do his job.

I think that the FA should give a clear signal to Swansea that this is not allowed. The ball boy should be banned and never ever be allowed to be a ball boy again. And I think that Swansea should face a big fine for this. I cannot prove Swansea as a club instructed them but they are responsible for the ball boys so they should have given the correct instructions to the ball boys to how they should do their job.

And their job is to bring the ball back in play as quickly as can. So a big fine should be given against Swansea. And I do hope that the ref sent the ball boy out of the neutral zone after the incident. Because there is no place for such ball boys in the game.

The ball boy behaved in a bad way – but then Hazard did the same. Was this the same Hazard who last Sunday didn’t see any harm in wasting time when they were leading 2-1?

In a way it shows that wasting time can be very frustrating and maybe players (and ball boys of course) should not do it or go over board when doing it.

What Hazard did was inexcusable. A professional football player like Hazard behaved in a very unprofessional way. Kicking at a ball boy is not done from the point of view of decent, reasonable human behaviour.  And indeed it is not done from a professional point of view. You don’t kick someone who is on the ground. Period.

For those who cannot understand how  Hazard got a red card from Foy I can assure you that Foy did what he had to do. A player who deliberately kicks someone should get a red card. And it doesn’t matter who he kicks. Another opponent, a team mate (yes it has happened before), an official, a spectator or any other person who is in the stadium.

When a player kicks towards another person he should get a red card. I all think we remember the situation a while back when some person entered the field in a lower league game and one of the players tackled him in an attempt to stop him. The player then got a red card and that is just the way the rules are. Players do not have the right to take justice in their own hands (or feet).

So the red card was the only thing the ref could do. And he should have sent the ball boy out of the neutral zone also. How many games he will be punished is something for the FA. How many pounds Swansea will be fined is also something for the FA to deal with. But I hope that both (Hazard and Swansea/ball boy) will get a very exemplary punishment so that such a ridiculous events will not be reproduced soon.

And looking at all this mess I think back to an article I wrote on how to improve the PL when I wrote the articles concerning our ref review last year. I wrote an article with recommendations on how to improve certain aspects of the game.

And one of my recommendations was on how to stop time wasting. And I then wrote that the PL should change things and use the rules as they are used in the CL and in many other big leagues like in the Bundesliga in Germany. In those games each ball boy has its own ball and when the ball goes out of play the ball boys are instructed immediately to throw the ball they have to the players so that the game can restart as quickly as possible. So if those rules would have been used (and the ball boys carried out those instructions) this incident wouldn’t have happened.

And we don’t want to see such incidents happening. It is putting football in a bad light. I love the game too much and I want it to be played in a fair way by all and dislike cheating and time wasting is cheating.

Once again I cannot understand that I as a humble ref and blogger can see those things and yet the big boys in the FA headquarters don’t think of such a simple thing to firstly avoid time wasting or reduce it as much as possible and also in the same time avoid such disgusting incidents.

Or I could say once again Untold Arsenal has highlighted a problem long before the rest of the world even thought it to be a problem. And once again Untold has proposed a solution long before others even though there could be a problem.

Why oh why are the football authorities so slow and stupid and can they never look any further than their nose and look at problems or possible problems before they happen…. Well maybe because they are slow and stupid?


The books…

The sites…

43 Replies to “Hazard kicking ball boy, FA also at fault?”

  1. It did not look to me that hazard was trying to kick the ball it looked like clear intention to kick the boy
    10 match ban frustration or not

  2. Perhaps this event may lead to a proper review of time-wasting in general, which seems to have become more established. The fans’ idea of counting out loud when opponents do this at the Emirates is a useful contribution, especially as we see some teams indulgingin time wasting from the start
    of games.

  3. The ball boy should also get something for simulation. That whole rib clutching thing is just rubbish. He tried to make it seem like he got belted by Hazard or something.

  4. I think this incident highlights the huge problem with time wasting in football. The stick to beat Arsenal with at the moment is the high price of tickets but if you look at time actually played in PL matches I think you will find it is between 60 & 70 minutes. If you went to the theatre or cinema and watched a play/film and it was between 20 & 30 mins short in every performance wouldn’t you complain. So why do we put up with it in football. If you knew for your £60 or more that you were seeing a whole 90 minutes wouldn’t that be better value for money. Next time you watch a game see how long it takes a GK to take a goal kick, how long is spent standing over a ball at free kicks, when there is a substitution why does it seem that the player going off is always on the other side of the pitch, use of towels at throws etc etc the FA, PL etc need to sort this out and give fans value for the money they pay.

  5. If you dnt want time wasting then stop doing it to odas. Hazard is just showing how stupid he is. Remember the saying ‘do unto others what you want others to do to you’

  6. Hazard is only doing his job in a morally rotten team like Chelsea, a club where it’s players shoot other players on the pitch and get away with it.

  7. Suddenly realized that if we would have lost the game and we would publish an article like this first, some would come on here crying and shouting that we are diverting attention from the total meltdown of our club and blah blah blah.
    Or ask that we don’t have anything else to discuss that is more pressing.
    The internet, it’s a funny world…

  8. Well diagnosed and correct conclusion, except for one aspect: the referee. The referee saw the ball boy delaying the game several times and did nothing. The referee also has a responsibility to sporting conduct.

    Swansea should be penalised for not having sporting ball boys and a fine with threat of disqualification from competition would not go amiss.

    Time wasting is unsporting and referees should deal with it at the beginning of the game with warnings. While cards etc, can be used, it delays fans from their obligations by increasing the overall match time.

    Shielding of the ball on its way out of play should be deemed as contact with the ball. It will stop poor quality players from ‘blocking’ continuity of the game. Standing in front of goalkeepers at free kicks should be made a minimum of one yard, and be considered as unsporting if a goalkeeper is obstructed from physically getting toward the place of action.

    The game is being robbed of its beauty by spoiling tactics.

  9. @ the font. ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. he clearly kicks under the boy and its shin that makes contact with the boy Part of this text has been deleted as it is abusive

  10. Menace, as I was trying to watch the Arsenal game on my stream I only saw the ball boy incident as it was shown on TV. If the ball boys did this the whole game long, then I think Swansea should receive a severe punishment.

    As you say the game is robbed of its beauty by spoiling tactics. Completely agree on you.

    And you are right that the ref should have acted if the ball boys did time wasting before this particular incident.

  11. How are ball boys actually selected? I always assumed they were part of ground staff or academy lads. Do they get proper training and fair pay?
    This one in last nights game was the son of one of the Swansea owners and was at it from the off and should himself have been cautioned for blatant time wasting, simulation and imaginary card waving. Doesn’t excuse Hazard of course, but the little turd got no sympathy from me.

  12. “The full 90 minutes” is an oxymoron. No game ever lasts just 90 minutes, we are treated to the 46th minute twice, and the added time is arbitrarily at the whim of the ref, giving rise to the touchline antics of Fergie and Scary Dave etc…timekeeping in the game is a complete shambles and the solution is, of course, far too simple and logical for the powers that mismanage the game…2 PERIODS OF 30 MINUTES PLAYING TIME WHERE THE CLOCK STOPS WHEN THE GAME STOPS…no more Fergietime, no more silly yellow cards and no matter how many substitutions are made in the last 5 minutes NOT A SECOND IS WASTED!

  13. @Walter, Completely agree with you mate. If we lost the game, people would see this article in negative ways. I cannot understand why those people filled with such pessimism toward our club.

    In case of this article, I’m quite afraid that if Hazard did not kick the ball boy, this issue would not be come up into discussion. Hazard deserves the red card for unprofessional behavior and the ball boy have to be punished also

    Great article and keep it up, mate. This kind of article is the reason why I visit Untold often. (even I rarely comment)

  14. Doing well Walter until your ref obsession reared its head again and then the rest of the article was about that with the word ref substituted in parts as FA in parts. 🙂

    Time wasting is a part of the game, it’s done by every team, including Arsenal.

    Sometimes refs do show a card to players for time wasting, usually goalkeepers, so the problem is addressed. Us playing the ball by the opposition touch line and bouncing the ball out of play to get a corner is a favourite way for Arsenal to waste time. Especially with the time it takes to take the corner. It’s frustrating to see it done to us but expected, particularly since I’ve grinned many times at the frustration of fans of rival teams when we do it. I am a bit baffled by you Walter getting frustrated with seeing Swansea time wasting against Chelsea?

    A case for prosecution is that the ball boy ceased to be a ball boy if he was doing the opposite of what he was supposed to do. This, semantically I know, means Swansea could be fined for allowing a fan onto the field of play – good luck getting it to stick bit it’s true nonetheless.

    With the fan being Welsh we can add a an extra £3000 fine, but since the opposition team was Chelsea, they get £3000 fine themselves for being Chelsea and so this cancels out the whole issue. 😉

  15. Does anybody know FOR CERTAIN if the twitter account alleged to be the boys ) where the time wasting boast appeared) is genuine. It could, of course, have been set up by anyone.

  16. It should not be a red card for Hazard.Why it should ?

    Hazard did not in any way went to kick this turd.
    Hazard went just to collect the ball.The so called ball boy was hell bent to keep the ball under his belly.

    Where were the official at this point ?
    Did the ref run toward the scene or blow his whistle ?
    Hazard is a victim as he was using his leg to free the ball from this SWANSEA tug.
    I am an Arsenal fan and the buck stops at the official.

    To make matter worst the tug was touching his rib in discomfort as he been crashed by a lorry.I wish it happen to this tug by a proper lorry right on the road before kick off.AT least the game would be better minus this turd.

  17. I had the not so dubious pleasure of listening to BBC Radio 5 last night to get updates on the AFC match. As much as i do not like the commentary on Radio 5, they did pick up on the fact in the first half the ball boys were taking a long time to give the ball back.

    Looks like it was an instruction from within Swansea to the ball boys to behave in this way and not just the actions of one person.

    That said, Hazard should not have kicked out at the boy. Be intersting to see what ban and fine Hazard gets and i do hope that Swansea are brought to task for unsporting conduct, but knowing the FA….

  18. ChrisN
    Bit of a coincidence that someone would tweet before the game and then it actually happened.

  19. The ball boy wasting time or not, what Hazard did as a professional is unacceptable. Freeing the ball by kicking it when a person is lying over it is stupidity. No matter what you do, you will kick the person over it. He could have protested with the ref. He could have helped the boy up. There were other ways.

  20. “Suddenly realized that if we would have lost the game and we would publish an article like this first, some would come on here crying and shouting that we are diverting attention from the total meltdown of our club and blah blah blah.
    Or ask that we don’t have anything else to discuss that is more pressing.
    The internet, it’s a funny world…”

    C’mon Walter, respectfully, that’s nonsense.

    If we lost that/a game and that happened, no-one would begrudge you from printing an article like this first.

    Why? Because a player involved in a kicking incident with a pre-calculating time-wasting ballboy is a completely unique if not unprecedented situation. Hence why the incident is getting so much worldwide attention down to local TV news stations in the U.S, China, Trinidad wherever and etc. It was on CNN & Foxnews for Pete’s sake.

    If we had lost that game and the first article was about tactical time wasting that has gone all from the beginning of football time when teams are protecting narrow leads, by everyone including us (personally I loved Jens’ hilarious time wasting antics), especially in the face of a poor performance, then yes, people would rightfully say you were trying to deflect. It’s pretty logical actually, and not about the internet being a funny place.

    What happened with Hazard and this ballMAN, is nothing remotely close to anything like that, and is inherently uniquely fascinating. This Preemptive and suppositional comparing(whining) of apples and oranges to make a false point doesn’t prove anything.

    Great result last night by the way, every enjoyable!

  21. @ ArsenalAgain..

    “Time wasting is a part of the game, it’s done by every team, including Arsenal.

    Of course it is, and quite frankly if we are protecting a 1 goal lead with the clock winding down (especially if the stakes are very high like in a cup knockout) personally I hope we would take a little longer on goal kicks, throw-ins, getting up from fouls and the like. In addition to making pointless substituations in stoppage time, with the subs taking a little longer to come off the field and even stopping to shake the refs hand :)… It’s the smart thing to do, everyone does it, and it’s up to the ref on how to handle it, and we’re no less guilty than anyone else.

    Watching this (of several) Jens Lehman classics makes me cry with laughter :), miss that crazy guy!:


  22. Silentstan hazard spent half the match time wasting against us the next time he takes the ball to the corner flag and sticks his arse out to shield the ball. Maybe jack should kick him in the gonads and. Protest he was time wasting I only tried to get the ball. You donut

  23. A Stewart I agree time wasting is part of the game today and can be very frustrating. But taking it out on the ball boy is not where I would want any arsenal player to venture. Henry on more than one occasion took the ball to the corner flag which I was glad of at the time but we all know the standing of Chelsea mindset by appointing someone like john terry as there captain

  24. @ the font, to be clear I’m not specifically excusing Hazard in those responses above, but rather specifically responding to Walter’s thought about how people would respond if UA was to post an article about time-wasting in general, first, in reaction to an AFC loss, and was explaining that if the post involved a situation as inherently unique as the Hazard one last night then no-one would have a problem with it. However, if it was about time wasting in general (that everyone does) especially on the back of a poor AFC performance and result, then many might see it as a deflection as opposed to diagnosing our issues that may have resulted in the poor result/performance, in such a hypothetical scenario as Walter brought forth.

    Moving on to the Hazard incident, I’m mixed to be honest. On one hand I understand the letter of law that resulted in his dismissal, on the other it was obviously a deliberate and calculated effort by the 17/18 y.o. ball”boy” to influence the game, which goes way beyond players/managers tactically wasting time in the context of a match. Moreover, the ball”boy” obviously made a complete meal of the “kick”, and personally I think the FA should treat this unique situation as well unique, and either clear Hazard (or reduce his expected suspension) or if they uphold a Hazard’s suspension, then the ballboy specifically and Swansea in a larger context, should also face punishment/sanction, because they/him were hardly innocent victims in this silly but quite funny escapade.

  25. @ the font..: “Silentstan hazard spent half the match time wasting against us the next time he takes the ball to the corner flag and sticks his arse out to shield the ball.”

    I see this argument being brought forth as some kind of justification that Hazard got what he deserved. However, Hazard or any player (including ours) tactically wasting time, in no way makes him a hypocite (as is the implication) for taking issue with a ballboy (note, not a player, manager directly involved in the match) deliberately (and pre-planned as it seems) wasting time and attempting to influence a match. They are simply not the same things and not morally equivalent.

  26. The fact that the ball boy made more of it than it was is in fact irrelevant for the ref to give a red card.
    Even an attempt to kick him should be punished with a red card. A player cannot use aggression or behave in an agressive way towards anyone else (opponent, team mate, spectator, or ball boy).
    An attempt to kick someone is simply an act of aggression and should be punished with a red card regardless if he touched him or not.

    The ref should have dealt with it before it got out of hand in fact. But I only have seen the incident without sound so don’t know if the ref had an eye on the situation or if he had turned his back to the situation. As the ref was Foy I think he could have turned his back to it. Just my intuition on this and from reviewing him.

  27. Immagine Theo did this.Suspended for three games and the club will continue to pay his wages 300000.For chelsky is nothing for us not an easy one.

  28. A Walter re: “The fact that the ball boy made more of it than it was is in fact irrelevant for the ref to give a red card.
    Even an attempt to kick him should be punished with a red card.”

    You’ll note that I stated that I understand the dismissal based on letter of law, however, personally I feel mixed (as I stated) about the what “I think” are the shennanigans of this unique situation and calculated stunt, and how I think it should be handled. That doesn’t mean I don’t understand why he was dismissed, or believe the FA will handle it in the way I think best, and for the record I absolutely agree that he was properly dismissed under the rules of the games, regardless of the relevance or lack thereof of the ballboy’s stunt and obvious faking.

    I thought that was pretty clear from my posts.

  29. Walter a couple of things

    When the ball is in play (with the exception of the goalkeeper keeping the ball in hand over 6 seconds) it is impossible to be penalised for wasting time. Time wasting is (save the point about 6 seconds made above) when you fail to get he ball back it play within a reasonable length of time.

    I doubt for one second that Hazzard set out to kick the Ball Man to suggest he did is suggesting you know his state of mind. Having said that Hazzaerd should never have become involved and deserved the red card

    As an aside did you see the Ball Mans car? Wish I had one like it!

    Yes the twitter account is his and he did annouce his intention to waste time

    After the match Sky showed other incidents where ball boys didnt do their job, one when the ball went out for a goal kick.The ball boy received the ball by the corner flag he just dropped the ball resulting in the keeper having to go some 30-40 yards to get the ball. Lampard ( who was Chelsea captain ) and other players had pointed out what was going on to the ref(all shown on Sky) but the re did nothing.

    None of it matters at the end of the day but as we all know refs sometimes make a rod for their own backs,

  30. Thanks for the information Mike T,

    As I said seeing that the ref was Foy it doesn’t surprise me he did nothing against the time wasting. He just is that kind of ref.

    I really hope that the match delegate from the FA wrote a report about it and that Swansea will be fined or punished in some way. Players wasting time is something I don’t like but you can waste time when the ball is in play by doing the corner flag routine.

    But having ball boys wasting time for a club that is something that is a bit sick.

  31. What infuriates me is the fact that a child has learned this behaviour at all. All professional footballers should look apon this incident with shame, that the gamesmanship within football has come to this. Disgusting, what next do we want our kids to learn from football?

  32. You can waste time with the ball in play. You cannot delay the restart of a match. The referee has total control of what happens around the pitch. as stated above both Hazard & ballboy should have been removed. Swansea should be charged with bringing the game into disrepute. Both a Belgium international and a Welsh football club have embarrassed English football.

    Bloody embarrassing for English sport. Disgusting behaviour all around.

  33. Only one weakness with your article, Walter. “Why oh why are the football authorities so slow and stupid and can they never look any further than their nose and look at problems or possible problems before they happen. Well maybe because they are slow and stupid?”

    Well, maybe. There is a saying along the lines of “never assume malice when incompetence will explain things”, but in this case, I think “follow the money” offers a better guide. As always, I go back the sport I grew up with. We had a decade and a half of *really* crappy hockey when the talent was too thinly spread, and the rule-makers (the owners) gave instructions to the referees to allow obstruction and other clearly illegal tactics without penalty. The situation slightly improved when some teams started to go bankrupt, with no teams waiting to “come up” to replace them. My point — it’s cheaper to adjust the rules than it is to pay for talent, so don’t hold your breath. They’re not stupid, there’s just no consequence for their (lack of) action.

  34. We still await the response from the English FA (wasnt the game played in Wales?) and it is interesting how so many are saying oh well time wasting happens all the time, and yes it does but its players that nearly always waste the time and they are under the control of the ref but here we have a Swansea authouriesed individual wasting time
    I dont know if many know but a club is both responsible and accontable for their staff, officals,players, support staff and even supporters so when I saw how quckly the Swansea management were wanting to move on & draw a line under this I wonder if there is a concern in Swansea that a dispepute charge is a real possibilty.
    Swanseas chairman and indeed their manager seem honourable men and I dont doubt for one second when they say that there was were nt offical instructions to waste time but having read a few comments I wonder if the their younger ball boys were “encouraged” by one of their number to do just that!

  35. The article was great until this point
    “Once again I cannot understand that I as a humble ref and blogger can see those things and yet the big boys in the FA headquarters don’t think of such a simple thing to firstly avoid time wasting or reduce it as much as possible and also in the same time avoid such disgusting incidents.”

    The same point levelled against the “AAA” when they criticize Wenger i.e they’ve never managed a football team before …….
    you are entitled to your opinion Walter and i respect that but please be consistent.

  36. I’m looking forward to the punishment FA is gonna hand to hazard. will it be equal to terry’s racism charge or more? if its more the obvious inference will be that kicking a ball boy is detrimental to football than racism. if its less, the kick to a small kid is equivalent to koscielny wrestling djeko. FA has brought its own misery to itself.

  37. Should be far less than any racism charge, because it’s far less important and far less detrimental to the game, and there are some real mitigating circumstances that will factor into the ultimate FA decision, that can’t be as oversimplified as just a “kick to a small kid”.

    1) The “small kid” was 17, almost an adult.
    2) The kid deliberately and in premeditation (per twitter) planned his actions.
    3) the kid is not a player or manager and shouldn’t in any way be inlfuencing a match.
    4)it’s debateable is Hazard even kicked him vs the ball (which he was obviously trying to retrieve).
    5) The kid faked the severity of what happened.

    None of that dismisses Hazard’s dismissal at the time of the incident, but it should and I think will be considered when the FA considers any ban.

    If Hazard just actually kicked a small kid with no official club capacity who was just innocently minding his own business for no reason, then yeah it would/should carry a more severe penalty than a racism charge, but we know that’s not actually what happened.

    More interesting to me than what punishment Hazard will get, is what punishment Swansea will get. To me it’s far more detrimental to the sport, and brings the sport into disrepute more by having ball boys deliberately and calculatingly interferring with play (perhaps with club instruction/sanction), than a player reacting to one, by trying to stop him from doing so and getting the ball back into play.

  38. I see that Swansea arent going to be hear any more from the FA but from the wording of their charge its clear that they recognise that the ball boys action were no accepatble not that justifies Hazard actions but the suggestion seems to be it doesnt matter what is going on the players have to stand back and let the officals sort matters out.
    The FA have yet again dug a bigger hole for themselves in that only a year and a bit ago they faced an appeal following a sending off in a Conference South game. Bear in mind that the FA are supposed to have the same process for all leagues and competitions they are responsible for.
    I attach two links (apologies if by creating the links I am going against the rules)
    The first sets out what happened and shows the incident.


    The next follows on from the FA regulatory commisions hearing .


    Now I know that the incidents arent 100% similar but the violence/force used in the BSS match was far more that Hazard is accused of using.

  39. I timed the 2nd half today at 45mins(90 on the clock) the ball had been in play 27mins at 49mins(94 on the clock) the ball had been in play 29mins 30 seconds. This in a game with no deliberate time waiting by the teams.

    If we put that over the full 90 mins that’s 30 mins without football being played one third of a match. At say £60 a ticket at the emirates that’s £20 you are paying for no actual football!!!

  40. there are a few misconceptions amongst bloggers posting on this article:

    1)Time wasting is punished only by the referee, nobody else has the authority to do that…nor are players authorized to try and speed up the game.
    2)Kicking or attempting to kick anyone in the stadium is an automatic expulsion…..it is violent conduct and cannot be condoned or excused.
    3) Again,the official is the only person authorized to decide whether the ballboy’s behaviour was meriting his intervention. In the case of Hazard’ insane behaviour, the referee had NO option. He could have also had the ballboy removed from the touchline well before the incident IF he thought he was bringing the game into disrepute.
    4) The stuffed suits at the FA couldn’t give a rat’s ass about such incidents, as long as they draw attention away from their general incompetence at running the EPL.

    Basically the referee didn’t handle this very well and should have intervened well before the incident with Hazard. Hazard deserves what he gets…kicking a 14 year old kid isn’t doing a nything for the image of Football in general or chelsea in particular. The ballboy deserves what he gets, whatever that will be.

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