The Blues star's side were heading out of the Capital One Cup, losing 2-0 on aggregate to Swansea City in the semi-final
Chelsea star Eden Hazard was sent off for kicking a BALLBOY in the ribs in the Capital One Cup semi at Swansea tonight.
He seemed to lose patience with the boy, named locally as Charlie Morgan, who was smothering the ball after it had gone out of play.
Hazard, 22, attempted to get the ball by trying to kick it from under him but instead appeared to make contact with the boy.
The Liberty Stadium reacted in fury and disbelief while police had to hold back fans nearest to the incident.
Several Chelsea players went to tend to the ballboy, who was left holding his ribs, before referee Chris Foy produced a red card.
The Blues were heading out of the competition, losing 2-0 on aggregate to Swansea with ten minutes left of the second leg.
The Swans comfortably held on and will now face League Two underdogs Bradford City in the final at Wembley.
Tonight Chief Superintendent Josh Jones said: "South Wales Police are aware of the incident involving a ballboy at the Liberty stadium in Swansea tonight.
"We are making arrangements for him to be interviewed. South Wales Police takes such matters very seriously."
The Football Association will also investigate the incident, according to sports sources, and Hazard could face a lengthy ban if it is ruled violent conduct.
Later the player said he had spoken to the ballboy in the changing room after the match - and both had said sorry to each other.
Hazard told Chelsea TV: "The boy put his whole body onto the ball and I was just trying to kick the ball and I think I kicked the boy and not the ball.
"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."
Swansea captain Ashley Williams told Sky Sports afterwards: "I saw him kick him in the rib and you can't do that to a young boy.
"At times tonight it was like a bar fight especially when they were pushing on."
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup said he expected Hazard would regret the incident when he views it on television.
"I saw it from a very big distance from the bench," he said. "I've since seen it after the game. Hazard is a great player. When he sees the images I think he will regret it."
Laudrup denied the club had given the ball boys instructions to hold onto the ball when it went out of play.
"No, no. Definitely not," he said. "I think he was pushed and on top of the ball. I can understand all the frustrations when you are behind."
Chelsea's official Twitter account at first responded with incredulity at the straight red card.
The Blues tweeted: "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"
Later that comment was deleted and a follow-up message posted which said: "Apologies for earlier ballboy tweet."
Daily Mirror columnist Robbie Savage said: "That is a 1st , getting sent off for kicking a ball boy , unbelievable , hope the ball boy is ok !
"First and foremost you can't kick a ballboy but hazard was surely just trying to get the ball back,wasn't malicious !
"He tried to poke ball from under ball boy who was smothering the ball ,in the process catching him ! Incredible."
"If the ball boy gives the ball straight back and does his job properly that doesn't happen !"
Was the referee right to send Eden Hazard off?
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand wrote: "What have I just witnessed?! A ball,a ball boy,a player + a red card..u would never have imagined all that could go together in 1 sentence!"
And Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler added: "Right decision even though ball boy milked it."
CNN talk show host Piers Morgan, a former Daily Mirror editor, said: "Eden Hazard sent off for deliberately kicking a ballboy in the ribs. Yes, you read right. Unbelievable!"
Speaking on Sky Sports, former Chelsea and England manager Glenn Hoddle said: "Mark my words, the ball boys will have been told to do that.
"As a manager, if you've got ball boys, you will tell people instructing the ball boys that if you're winning the game, don't give the ball back quickly."
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