I’ve read, listened and seen so much on the Hazard red card story so far that I can’t believe a one-day old story can tire you so much. Most have condemned Hazard and Chelsea with headlines like ‘£170,000 a week footballer assaults a hapless ball boy’ and how this is another episode at a club which is a controversy magnet. Some though (mainly professional footballers) have been vocal on saying Hazard only toe poked the ball and the whole thing is being blow out of proportion.
Pat Nevin has been in particular very direct on his views on why the ball ‘man’ is in the wrong and deserves punishment and why the Hazard sending off was such a wrong decision. That’s why I so like Pat Nevin. He’s the lone Chelsea fighter out there in the world of football media which seems to bay for blue blood all the time.
Most are talking about FA’s powers to extend the three-match ban for Hazard. I’m saying his red card should rescinded after watching video replays. Hazard has apologised for the whole fiasco but has never admitted to kicking that muppet. He still maintains that he kicked the ball which most people now seem to agree. I that fella has also apologised because he knows if this gets to video evidence it’s going to look really embarrassing for him. Anyway, this would be seen a thousand times from a hundred angles. Any which way I look at it, it’s a smart and successful toe poke, nothing more, nothing less. No yellow card, leave alone a red card.
I happened to listen to this debate on Sky Sports on this incident and found it quite fair and interesting. David Jones, as always, hosted the talk with Paul Ince, Kevin Phillips and Paulo Sousa – top flight players and managers (even with a Swansea connection) with no agenda. I’m not saying this because they had views similar to mine. I’m saying this because they talked with some reason, logic and humour which much of the media couldn’t manage on this incident.
Here is the relevant 10-minute clip. Have a listen.
Here’s a youtube video I’ve managed to upload by zooming in and capturing from my iPhone. For me, it’s quite clear that Hazard is kicking (nudging?) the ball and the ball comes out instantly even on this slow motion video like how a ball would react to a shoe poke.
See Eden Hazard is probably the most fouled player in the premier league. You don’t see him reacting with cynicism or frustration when he himself is fouled and is put through a danger of injury. Why would he would try and hurt a ball man? Eden Hazard has come out and said that he kicked the ball and that’s what I see. And I hope that’s what FA also sees and rescinds his red card.
What do you think? Is that a yellow card offence or red card offence or like I ask ‘what offence?’.