Jan 24, 2013, 3:07 PM EDT
Eden Hazard hasn’t retracted his apology to ball boy Charlie Morgan, but most of England is beginning to believe it got scammed by the young
twerp lad. See Charlie in the photo there, clutching his ribs like he’d just been gored at the Running of the Bulls? It may be just an act. And Europe is not amused.
You don’t really have to be a soccer fan to have heard the news that, apparently, Chelsea’s Hazard kicked a 17-year-old ball boy to try and dislodge the ball from underneath him during a Capital One Cup game on Wednesday at Swansea in England. It’s all reported right here — including the fact that a new camera angle may exonerate Hazard.
I don’t know a lot about soccer, but as I understand it, a ball went out of bounds and the Swansea ball boy, instead of fetching it and giving it to the closest player, laid down on top of it like a sea turtle protecting its eggs on the beach. As time was running out, Hazard attempted to dislodge the ball — and the new angle seems to show he struck the ball, and not the kid.
Young Charlie, however, clutched his ribs and writhed on the turf, in perhaps one of the greater flops in European soccer history.
Hazard was red carded and “sent off”, as they say over there, and initially apologized to the kid. But now pretty much all of Europe is saying, wait a minute, it’s the kid we should be blaming here. Some fun facts:
- Former Chelsea player and current BBC broadcaster Pat Nevin said of the ball boy: “I would have kicked him too. I have to say I was absolutely amazed this morning to find he is 17, not 12, not 13.”
- Photo of Charlie from his Twitter account. Ball boy? As Kramer would say, more like a ball man.
- Columnist Adrian Durham: “This kid is an example of what is wrong with Britain. A generation of kids with no respect whatsoever for adults. No respect for professionals trying to do their job. He’s being treated like a hero by some and labelled a victim by others. What a weird world we live in.”
- Morgan is the son of hotelier Martin Morgan, Swansea’s top shareholder and one of the richest people in Wales.
- Jelisa Castrodale, to me in an email: “The kid — Charlie Morgan — has been a Swansea ball boy for a while and tweeted before the game that he was “needed for timewasting.” (Although he used a hashtag before each word, so he pretty much deserved the kicking for that alone).
- Columnist John Edwards: “I can think of only one criticism of Eden Hazard’s so-called attack on a ball boy at The Liberty Stadium. He didn’t kick him hard enough.”
- A new video game has already hit the internet: Don’t Boot The Ball Boy. Fun!
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