FA will push to increase 'insufficient' Hazard ban

Governing body wants Chelsea player to serve more than three games for kicking ballboy

The Football Association set the stage for another disciplinary showdown with Chelsea today when it announced it would push for a longer ban for Eden Hazard than the statutory three games for the red card he received over the ballboy incident on Wednesday.

The FA said that a three-match ban for Hazard's dismissal against Swansea, in which he kicked at a ballboy, was "clearly insufficient" and an independent regulatory commission will decide next week the tariff that the player must serve.

In private, the club would have accepted the three-game ban. They are now likely to appeal against any additional games. Chelsea have until 6pm on Tuesday to put together their submission to the commission.

Hazard will start his ban on Sunday when his club face Brentford in the fourth round of the FA Cup at a time when manager Rafa Benitez believes his squad is too light on numbers to carry the club through a heavy period of fixtures. There have been long-term injuries to John Terry and Oriol Romeu while John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses are at the African Cup of Nations, narrowing Benitez's options.

"We do not have too many players and we are playing too many games," Benitez said. "We have played nine games a month, we have two players at the African Nations, we do not have too many bodies, we have to change players and it will be another approach."

Charged by the FA with "violent conduct", Hazard, 22, will potentially miss up to five games for Chelsea for the incident in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at the Liberty Stadium. A ban of that length would take him up to the fifth round of the FA Cup, providing Chelsea beat Brentford. The sixth game is the league fixture away at Manchester City.

There was some good news for the Belgium international today when South Wales police said they would not be pursuing any investigation into the incident with the 17-year-old ballboy, Charlie Morgan.

Hazard will not be required to give evidence at the independent commission hearing next week. Instead, there will be written and video submissions by the FA and Chelsea, with the latter hoping that a new camera angle from Sky Sports will help their cause. It appears to show Hazard making contact with the ball which emerges from under the ballboy.

In the meantime, Benitez takes his side to Griffin Park tomorrow hopeful that Chelsea can stay alive in a competition they have won in four of the last six seasons. He admitted that he had little option but to play Frank Lampard and Ramires in every game in the absence of Mikel and Romeu.

Benitez said: "If you talk about substitutions and how can you change the game it is not so easy. People say there are players you can play and you will score three times but if you play them too much they do not have the physical intensity. The players are a little tired.

"When we have three or four days' rest we are fine, when we have two we are not so good."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform