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Chelsea to appeal extended Hazard ban

Michael Steele

Chelsea will appeal against any extended ban handed out to Eden Hazard, according to a report from Sky Sports. The FA, if you'll recall, had decided that the standard three-game ban for violent conduct was 'clearly insufficient' to punish Hazard for the incident between him and a Swansea City ballboy a week ago, and with one of their best players looking at being sidelined for a significant spell, the club has taken action to ensure a fairer punishment.

I'd suspect that even the most ardent Chelsea-hater would agree that they have a case, too. The club is alright with seeing Hazard punished for losing his head, but the idea that the conduct was violent enough to merit a longer suspension than usual is absurd considering that most of the evidence suggest that Hazard didn't actually kick Charlie Morgan.

Chelsea should win their appeal -- the FA is following the narrative, rather than the facts -- but I'm not that thrilled about this story getting more life. There have been some absolutely stupid things written about Hazard here (I think the Sun called it 'an act of astonishing brutality', for example), and I'd quite like this whole incident to go away. Then again, I'd like to have Hazard back too.

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