By Walter Broeckx
I would have loved to start with writing an article about the game from last night where we won in rather pleasant way.
Alas, alas, alas… I had to watch the game on a not that good internet stream. I could see most of it but missed the Podolski goal live as the stream jammed. It happened a few times in the second half so I really don’t want to comment on it before I can really see the game completely.
And to bring in more bad news I wanted to see the game on the Arsenal Player but for the moment my internet connection is so slow that it takes 30 seconds to upload half of the images. So I called it a day and will try later on when my internet provider is giving me the promised speed.
So I turn my attention to another incident in another game: The Hazard/ballboy kick.
First the facts in a row.
- Ball boy tweets before the game he will try to waste time.
- Ball boy smothers the ball below his body and refuses to give it to Hazard
- Hazard kicks out at the ball boy in an attempt to kick the ball underneath him
- Hazard hits the ball boy with his leg
- Hazard gets a red card
So let us start with the start. Ball boys are only allowed in a game when the ref gives his permission.
We all know that in most cases when a home team offers ball boys the ref will allow them to do their job. But this also means that the ball boys have to do their job in a proper way. The reason they are out there is to prevent time wasting.
Clearly the ball boy in question didn’t do his job as could be expected. The fact that the tweeted before the game he would waste time could indicate that maybe there were some instructions given by Swansea itself. It could have been the ball boy’s own initiative. But in any case the ball boy didn’t do his job.
I think that the FA should give a clear signal to Swansea that this is not allowed. The ball boy should be banned and never ever be allowed to be a ball boy again. And I think that Swansea should face a big fine for this. I cannot prove Swansea as a club instructed them but they are responsible for the ball boys so they should have given the correct instructions to the ball boys to how they should do their job.
And their job is to bring the ball back in play as quickly as can. So a big fine should be given against Swansea. And I do hope that the ref sent the ball boy out of the neutral zone after the incident. Because there is no place for such ball boys in the game.
The ball boy behaved in a bad way – but then Hazard did the same. Was this the same Hazard who last Sunday didn’t see any harm in wasting time when they were leading 2-1?
In a way it shows that wasting time can be very frustrating and maybe players (and ball boys of course) should not do it or go over board when doing it.
What Hazard did was inexcusable. A professional football player like Hazard behaved in a very unprofessional way. Kicking at a ball boy is not done from the point of view of decent, reasonable human behaviour. And indeed it is not done from a professional point of view. You don’t kick someone who is on the ground. Period.
For those who cannot understand how Hazard got a red card from Foy I can assure you that Foy did what he had to do. A player who deliberately kicks someone should get a red card. And it doesn’t matter who he kicks. Another opponent, a team mate (yes it has happened before), an official, a spectator or any other person who is in the stadium.
When a player kicks towards another person he should get a red card. I all think we remember the situation a while back when some person entered the field in a lower league game and one of the players tackled him in an attempt to stop him. The player then got a red card and that is just the way the rules are. Players do not have the right to take justice in their own hands (or feet).
So the red card was the only thing the ref could do. And he should have sent the ball boy out of the neutral zone also. How many games he will be punished is something for the FA. How many pounds Swansea will be fined is also something for the FA to deal with. But I hope that both (Hazard and Swansea/ball boy) will get a very exemplary punishment so that such a ridiculous events will not be reproduced soon.
And looking at all this mess I think back to an article I wrote on how to improve the PL when I wrote the articles concerning our ref review last year. I wrote an article with recommendations on how to improve certain aspects of the game.
And one of my recommendations was on how to stop time wasting. And I then wrote that the PL should change things and use the rules as they are used in the CL and in many other big leagues like in the Bundesliga in Germany. In those games each ball boy has its own ball and when the ball goes out of play the ball boys are instructed immediately to throw the ball they have to the players so that the game can restart as quickly as possible. So if those rules would have been used (and the ball boys carried out those instructions) this incident wouldn’t have happened.
And we don’t want to see such incidents happening. It is putting football in a bad light. I love the game too much and I want it to be played in a fair way by all and dislike cheating and time wasting is cheating.
Once again I cannot understand that I as a humble ref and blogger can see those things and yet the big boys in the FA headquarters don’t think of such a simple thing to firstly avoid time wasting or reduce it as much as possible and also in the same time avoid such disgusting incidents.
Or I could say once again Untold Arsenal has highlighted a problem long before the rest of the world even thought it to be a problem. And once again Untold has proposed a solution long before others even though there could be a problem.
Why oh why are the football authorities so slow and stupid and can they never look any further than their nose and look at problems or possible problems before they happen…. Well maybe because they are slow and stupid?
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- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches