World of Sport

Ball boy ‘pre-planned time wasting antics’

The ball boy who was at the centre of the Eden Hazard scandal pre-planned his time wasting tactics that eventually led to the Belgian kicking him in the ribs.

On the afternoon of the game, the ball boy, a 17-year-old named Charlie Morgan, took to Twitter and posted the following:

When asked by a fellow follower why it was his "final appearance", Morgan explained that he "hadn't been doing it (acting as ball boy) all season", but that he had been asked to come in as another ball boy could not make it because of the snow.

The self-proclaimed 'king of all ball boys' then saw his twitter account followers sky-rocket by tens of thousands after the incident.

By 10am on Thursday, he had over 80,000 followers on the social networking site, while his time wasting comment had been retweeted over 35,000 times.

Morgan has not tweeted since the incident, but accepted an apology from Hazard. The teenager, who is the son of Swansea City director Martin Morgan, was accompanied by his father into the Chelsea dressing room at the end of the match, where the matter was resolved.

Hazard told Chelsea TV that he had not intended to boot the ball boy.

"The boy put his whole body on to the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball and I think I kicked the ball and not the boy," he said.

"I apologise. The ball boy came in the changing room and we had a quick chat and I apologised and the boy apologised as well, and it is over. Sorry."

The red card shown by referee Chris Foy will lead to the 22-year-old being banned for three games, though there may be scope for that sanction to be extended.

"They have apologised to each other," Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benitez said.

"They knew they were both wrong. He (the ball boy) was wasting time. Hazard wanted to get the ball back quickly and he was kicking. They both made mistakes.

"We will deal with this internally. He was frustrated and just wanted to get the ball back, but we will analyse it and see what happens."