Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kicking A Ball Boy When He's Down

Ex-professional footballer Richie Moran returns to Inside Left to look at the morality of football in a week that saw Chelsea's Eden Hazard put the boot in.

Once again it seems that Chelsea FC have been allowed to plumb the depths of decency, on this occasion it would seem ably abetted by those who really ought to know better.
Let's get one thing straight. Having observed the situation countless times I am prepared to concede that Hazard did not seek to injure Charlie Morgan. However what he did was plain wrong. You simply cannot kick a ball out from under a ball boy, as he did, because their is always a chance of injury and technically it was an assault. The referee was left with no option but to send him off for violent behaviour.
It would seem that Morgan had tweeted his intention to waste time prior to the game and therefore needs to also be punished in some form (perhaps, even as the son of the Swansea chairman, he should not be allowed to ball boy again, although I don't think that will bother him too much). Two wrongs do not a right make and I am sure that some of the abuse he is likely to receive on Twitter (including the obligatory death threats from a certain charming Chelsea faction) will ensure that he receives far harsher judgement than the idiot that kicked him. 
They both apologised, Morgan possibly, because he realised the enormity of what he had done and that his playacting (picked up from footballers perchance?) and Hazard, hopefully sincerely (though with the recent history of his club, I am inclined to doubt it) because his conduct was simply unacceptable.
I accept that emotions were running high, owing to the situation, but as a millionaire professional footballer, Eden Hazard has a responsibility to the watching millions (including young ball boys) to conduct himself in the appropriate manner or face the consequences. For the likes of Pat Nevin (whom I had previously considered one of the more erudite and articulate commentators amongst the anodyne dross) to say he would have done the same is tantamount to advocating violence against a young boy and is plain wrong. Perhaps he should watch the various programmes where young British citizens think it is OK to go to places such as Kavos, Magaluf, Zante etc and act in the most disgusting, disrespectful manner toward the local inhabitants, and even the doctors who try to repair bodies broken by drunken excess, before deciding exactly who may be in need of some physical chastisement. 

Perhaps whilst moralising thus he should extend it to young professionals who are currently up in a court of law for allegedly filming themselves sexually abusing a drunk teenage girl!

As much as I am an advocate for free speech, do you not think it may be an idea to stop footballers expressing their vacuous and ill considered opinions on Twitter? Gareth Bale's comment was a disgrace. As someone who, when I played, was even quicker than him, I know how easy it is to actually keep your balance when running at full pace, so perhaps he should think on. As regards Glenn Hoddle (and we all know his track record on pronouncements) I am pretty sure the words condone and condemn were mixed up, so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now. 

In another momentous week for football morality the Ferguson Association (or an even more suitable acronym) has graciously deigned to ask the omnipotent one to clarify yet another questioning of the integrity of a match official. Yet they charge Sam Allardyce. And there is still the possibility of a disgraceful scenario in which a man who led his team to two successive promotions and had two defeats in 12 games being sacked in the most cowardly and disrespectful manner.

Lest we forget has there been any action taken against Hibernian s Leigh Griffiths (the alacrity with which his [parent club Wolves washed their hands of the situation was like watching the aforementioned  Bale against Aston Villa) for tweeting "get back to your own country" to someone with an Asian name who had criticised him on Twitter?

However in a month where once again, one Steven Spielberg has again been given carte blanche to revise history with his portrayal of the supremely racist, slave owning, white supremacist Abraham Lincoln as a great emancipator and abolitionist and Tarantino as usual can use slavery (and the word nigger 109 times) as the backdrop for another of his violence glorifying spaghetti western cartoons, is it any wonder that a club owned by a billionaire has once again been allowed to besmirch, whatever name football currently has? England rugby international, Danny Care is a pillock as well for his inane comments.

At least Bradford City V Swansea at Wembley goes against the grain, restores some faith and should delight the neutrals and their fans instead of the billionaire and millionaire thugs and cowards who play, preside over and commentate on football.