Chelsea star Eden Hazard sent off for kicking ball boy [VIDEO]

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Jan. 24, 2013 at 9:04 AM
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A 17-year-old ball boy picked up the ball after it bounced off a board late in a game between Chelsea and Swansea in Wales on Wednesday. Belgium native and Chelsea star Eden Hazard, 22, kicked the teen in the ribs trying to retrieve the ball and was sent packing.

According to CBS News, no criminal charges were filed after Hazard apologized to the boy -- identified as Charlie Morgan -- though the soccer star faces a minimum three-match ban.

Several players looked after the teen after Hazard kicked him. Hazard received a red card, but Chelsea's official Twitter feed wasn't so sympathetic.

“Has football gone mad?” Chelsea tweeted, according to ABC News. “Hazard is sent off for kicking the ball under a ball boy attempting to smother the ball rather than return it.”

Chelsea later apologized:

According to the Daily Mail, Morgan visited the locker room for a meet and greet with stars John Terry and Frank Lampard, who were "exemplary in their behavior" toward him.

Hazard explained the incident to Chelsea TV saying, "‘The boy put his whole body onto the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball and I think I kicked the ball and not the boy. I apologize."

The Telegraph reported that Morgan's Twitter popularity skyrocketed after the game -- his following increased by 15,000 percent since Wednesday.

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