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Chelsea Star ejected after kicking ball boy

Chelsea star Eden Hazard was ejected from the English League Cup semifinal on Wednesday for kicking a ball boy in the ribs while trying to retrieve the ball after it rolled off the field.

With Chelsea needing two goals against Swansea to force overtime in the two-game series, the ball went behind the goal in the 79th minute.

A 17-year-old ball boy in a Swansea sweat suit, identified as Charlie Morgan in media reports, slowly walked over to pick it up.

Hazard ran up and the teen fell over, the ball under his stomach. Hazard pulled then kicked at the ball while it was under the teen.

After Hazard got the ball free, the winger jogged onto the field, while fans and some players reacted angrily. The ball boy, who has worked for Swansea for six years, clutched his ribs.

Hazard was given a straight red card.

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez said the ball boy and Hazard apologized to each other: "The boy was apologizing for time wasting. Hazard was frustrated and tried to get the ball."

South Wales Police and the league will investigate.

The match finished 0-0 and Swansea advanced 2-0 on aggregate, setting up a final against Bradford.

Et cetera

College Football: Louisville's Charlie Strong agreed to an eight-year extension with an annual base salary of $3.7 million, placing him seventh among Division I coaches, just behind Iowa's Kirk Ferentz ($3.8 million). The 52-year-old former UF assistant earned $2.305 million in 2012. His new deal has numerous incentives.

Cycling: Former International Cycling Union president Hein Verbruggen defended the governing body's doping policy during the Lance Armstrong era and said it acted appropriately when it informed riders about suspicious test results. He spoke after a Dutch magazine reported that Armstrong and others were contacted about doping suspicions.

Figure skating: Skating three days after his father died, Maxim Trankov and Russian partner Tatiana Volosozhar took the lead in the pairs after the short program at the European championships in Croatia.

Horses: Kentucky's equine industry boasted 242,400 horses in 2011 and a total value surpassing $20 billion, according to a University of Kentucky survey.

Tennis: John Isner and Sam Querrey will join brothers Bob and Mike Bryan on the U.S. team that will host Brazil on an indoor hardcourt in Jacksonville in the first round of Davis Cup World Group matches Feb. 1, captain Jim Courier announced.

Times wires

Sports in brief 01/23/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:49pm]
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