Soccer Player Kicks Ballboy in Stomach, Gets Red Card
File under: Not cool.
Soccer player Eden Hazard, a Belgian national recently signed to top London club Chelsea, was thrown out of a match for kicking a ballboy in the stomach during a match against Swansea on Wednesday.
The moment quickly went viral online, as both #hazard and #ballboy became worldwide Twitter trends.
Ironically, Hazard’s Wikipedia page claims his “calm and cool demeanor on the field has been cited as one of his best attributes.”
Check out the video above to see the astonishing act of aggression for yourself.
UPDATE: News reports have named the kicked ballboy as Charlie Morgan. Coincidentally, a Twitter account called @CHARLIEM0RGAN from Swansea tweeted this earlier Wednesday:
— Charlie Morgan™ (@CHARLIEM0RGAN) January 23, 2013
That would seem to indicate that Morgan had a close-match stall tactic planned all along, which would explain Hazard’s frustration — if not the kick to the boy’s midrif. So was Morgan going rogue in his #timewasting plot? Or was the #timewasting deemed “#needed” by some higher Swansea authority? How deep does this #timewasting go??
At time of this writing, Morgan’s post had been retweeted 19,000 times and he had 39,000 followers — both numbers growing by the moment, as his full name became a worldwide trend.
For its part, the official Chelsea Twitter account came out against Hazard’s red card in a pretty controversial post of its own:
Has football gone mad? Hazard is sent off for kicking the ball under a ball boy attempting to smother the ball rather than return it. #CFC
— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) January 23, 2013
While this is a classic, hilarious, only-on-Twitter story in many respects, it does come with a twist of ugliness. As Morgan’s identity spread, many fans tweeted threats and death wishes to him. English sports trolls on Twitter have been prosecuted for death threats in the past, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Thumbnail image courtesy FootballFailsTV via YouTube