Eden Hazard, Chelsea's young midfielder, has been charged with violent conduct by the English Premier League's governing body and faces a lengthy suspension for kicking a ball boy (see video) during a League Cup semifinal game on Wednesday.
The Football Assn. said the 21-year-old winger from Belgium has until Tuesday to respond to the violent-conduct charge, which carries a minimum three-game suspension, although the governing body said the standard penalty was "clearly insufficient" in this case.
Hazard was given a red card during a 0-0 draw against Swansea City when he chased down a ball boy who was trying to retrieve a ball that had gone out of bounds across the end line. Hazard bumped the ball boy, who fell on top of the ball.
When the teenager, 17-year-old Charlie Morgan, didn't promptly roll over and give up the ball, Hazard kicked him in the ribs.