Police may investigate Eden Hazard after ballboy bust-up

While FA weighs up raising punishment from the standard three-game suspension

Eden Hazard could still face a police investigation after the South Wales force revealed that they were following up three calls from members of the public in relation to the Chelsea winger’s kick at a Swansea City ballboy on Wednesday.

The South Wales police said that they had received calls from “members of the public living in Sussex, Kent and West Wales” and were duty-bound to follow them up. It is  understood they will speak to those individuals and then decide whether they should go further with the investigation.

It was a call from an off-duty policeman that prompted the police investigation into John Terry – that led to a subsequent Crown prosecution – over the allegation that he racially abused Anton Ferdinand in Chelsea’s Premier League game against Queen’s Park Rangers on 23 October, 2011. Terry was acquitted last summer.

In addition, the Football Association is considering raising Hazard’s punishment from the standard three-match ban for violent conduct following his dismissal for kicking at the ball underneath the ballboy, Charlie Morgan.

The FA’s governance department are expected to announce their decision on Friday having reviewed footage of the incident between Hazard and 17-year-old Morgan at the Liberty Stadium.

Chelsea have not appealed the red card and nor are they planning to  appeal the three-match ban for Hazard, although that is an option for clubs who believe that a suspension of that length is excessive for the offence committed by the player.

Should the FA decide to press for a greater punishment for Hazard, the judgement would be made by an independent regulatory commission which would sit before the end of his ban – now in effect and starting with Sunday’s FA Cup tie at Brentford. It is likely to be in Hazard’s favour that he apologised to Morgan in the immediate aftermath of the game.

A new camera angle has emerged which appears to show Hazard making a connection with the ball under the body of Morgan and the ball popping out the other side of the ballboy as he lay prone.

Morgan is the son of Martin Morgan, the owner of Morgans Hotel in Swansea, the largest single shareholder in the club with a 22.5 per cent stake, and a man whose personal wealth is estimated at around £42m. A fellow Swansea director, vice-chairman Leigh Dineen, said that the club did not tell their ballboys to waste time.

Charlie Morgan had boasted on his Twitter account that as “king of ballboys” he was capable of wasting time returning the ball. Dineen said: “There was no agenda, absolutely not. Stoke, a few years ago, would get the ballboy to wipe the ball down for a long throw and that was something they were obviously told to do.

“It doesn't make any difference what age the lad is or if he was holding the ball or not – you can't kick out at anybody. The referee had no alternative but to send him off.”

After the game, the teenager is understood to have visited his father in the boardroom where he was instructed not to speak about the matter publicly or tweet about it –  he now has more than 90,000 followers on Twitter. Meanwhile the senior Chelsea officials at the game – technical director Michael Emenalo, chief executive Ron Gourlay and club secretary David Barnard – discussed the best way forward for their club. They asked a club official to track down Morgan who was brought, with a female member of the Swansea staff, to the away dressing room. He was met by Frank Lampard and John Terry and brought over to meet Hazard. After the two had apologised, in Morgan's case for time-wasting, the teenager volunteered the information that he would not be pressing charges.

Chelsea also deleted a tweet on their official Twitter feed that criticised Hazard's red card – asking “Has football gone mad?” – and apologised for it. South Wales police have no timeframe to complete their inquiries.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones