Hazardous night for Swansea ballboy

It’s typical. The astounding achievement of a Division Two club reaching the final of the Capital One Cup was immediately overshadowed when a multi-millionaire from the Premier League misbehaved in the other semi-final.

At least Bradford City had 24 hours of attention before Chelsea’s Eden Hazard stole the headlines. The Belgian international was sent off for kicking a ball boy in frustration as Chelsea failed to overturn Swansea’s lead from the first leg.

The ballboy, the son of a Swansea director, was unwilling to return the ball to the Chelsea player and had even fallen on top of it. Hazard, trying to pry the ball free, connected with the 17 year-old, who made a great performance of clutching his ribs. Hazard was dismissed.

Hasty apologies were arranged by both parties in the dressing-room after the match, but Hazard may face further action. "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," Hazard said. "I apologise. The ballboy 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."

Common sense would suggest that should be an end to the matter, but common sense and English football are only vaguely acquainted. The incident overshadowed the result which sent Michael Laudrup’s Swansea into their first major final, to face the shock team of the tournament, Bradford.

The final will be worth around £1 million to the cash-strapped Division Two side. Some of the cash will be spent on a training break to Tenerife as their regular training pitch is under snow. Bradford co-chairman Mark Lawn said: "What this does is let people all around the country who are down in dumps with the recession show that the underdogs can come through, and that dreams can happen."

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