What do the above all have in common? Well John Terry and Luis Suarez were both accused of a racially aggravated criminal offence on the football pitch. Last night, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard decided to kick a young ball boy whilst he was on the ground to gain custody of the football whilst playing Swansea City in the Capital One Cup.
The fact that this was done on a football pitch, in front of a national and international audience should not detract from the fact that Mr Hazard had potentially assaulted the young ball boy. If anything, the broadcasting of the incident should increase the severity of it. Men, women and children sitting at home, not to mention the 20,000 people in the Liberty Stadium, would no doubt have been outraged at the conduct of Mr Hazard. It is likely as, articulated by Glenn Hoddle in the post match analysis, that the young ball boy was only acting on simple orders from his superiors at Swansea FC i.e. ‘if we are doing well in the match don’t be in a rush to give Chelsea the ball back.’ Not an action that deserves Mr Hazard’s boot.
Surprisingly, the police have decided not to take any further action against Mr Hazard. Surely, the FA must now take a hard line on this. The fact that the referee sent Mr Hazard off is simply not enough. If an identical incident happened on the street, involving a grown man kicking a young boy, there would be a public outcry. Common sense dictates that the same reaction must happen here with regards to Mr Hazard’s behaviour, which is arguably worse than the behaviour of Messrs Terry and Suarez.
Head of Sports Law and Registered Lawyer under the FA Football Agents Regulations @ Pinder Reaux.