Manchester United Message Board
not just Hazard kicking a ball boy but his club defending him on their official twitter site - "Has football gone mad? Hazard is sent off for kicking the ball under a ball boy attempting to smother the ball rather than return it. #CFC" .
They just can`t bring themselves to say sorry for anything
I agree with your comments about everyday cases, but things that are seen by millions, on TV, tend to get amplified.
Don't you remember a footballer being prosecuted for alleged racially abusive language, last year, when the reality was he would have been unlikely to see a courtroom if it had not been on national TV. N'est-ce pas?
That doesn't make me think Hazard was in danger of seeing a courtroom.
There are two ways of looking at this. You've picked on the legal wording as if it proves your point. But that legal wording depends upon the definition of "unlawful force". This isn't defined here. I have trouble believing that a court would find that kicking a ball from underneath someone on the football field, in the absence of a clear malicious intent or the use of plainly unnecessary force, to be "unlawful force" and prosecutions tend only to get to court if there is a substantial chance of winning.
But there is more the common sense point. Ultimately this is a trivial incident. If courts routinely took cases like this the system would seize up immediately. And if such trivial examples were routinely taken to court most of the population would be criminalised many times over.
In the real world the courts don't have cases as trivial as this. Go to a court and see what's there.
Not to continue the debate, but more for your interest here is some info about assault.
You will note that an assault does not have to cause injury to be classed as such, so kicking a ball and recklessly causing the other to apprehend unlawful force is common assault.
If you wish to have a look for yourself, the link is
What is Common Assault
Common Assault, contrary to section 39 Criminal Justice Act 1988
An offence of Common Assault is committed when a person either assaults another person or commits a battery.
An assault is committed when a person intentionally or recklessly causes another to apprehend the immediate infliction of unlawful force.
A battery is committed when a person intentionally and recklessly applies unlawful force to another.
It is a summary offence, which carries a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum. However, if the requirements of section 40 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 are met, then Common Assault can be included as a count on an indictment. Refer to Summary offences and the Crown Court (Criminal Justice Act 1988 sections 40 and 41; Crime and Disorder Act 1998 section 51 and Sch.3 para.6, elsewhere in this guidance).
Where there is a battery the defendant should be charged with 'assault by beating'. (DPP v Little (1992) 1 All ER 299)
When to Charge with Common Assault
As a starting point, where there is no injury or injuries which are not serious, the offence charged should generally be Common Assault.
If you think Hazard was never in danger of seeing a courtroom, I'd think again.
But I think this is the only point we disagree on and I'm making this post to share the above, rather than to try to win an argument, as Hazard won't be charged and the FA has sent a note round to tell ball boys not to be cnuts in the future.
Given that we agree first that a standard three match ban would be appropriate and second that police and court action wouldn't be appropriate we obviously agree far more than we disagree. The only point of disagreement seems to be on whether Hazard is "lucky" to not be going to court. You seem to characterise the player vs non-player situation as if it would go to court more often than not. I would guess any situation like this going to court would be extremely rare and in that sense I think this talk of court action is a red herring.
It is not clear there has even been an offence. If Hazard went for the ball and kicked the ball what exactly is the offence? It's hardly an assault to kick a ball out from under a person.
With respect, Robert, you are not getting it.
Every week, assault happens all over the country on football fields, but it is not prosecuted because football is a contact sport and so long as the assault happens on the field, as part of the game, it is not pursued by the authorities.
Now the minute it happens between a player and a non player, it is a different matter.
Look at what Cantona did at Crystal Palace, yes the kick was more aggressive, but on the other hand the guy was standing up and could defend himself.
Are the two incidents comparable? I think not directly and Cantona was rightly punished for his.
Hazard got a red and I personally believe that is enough, but my point was that the police asked the question and if the ball boy had pressed charges, I think he would be going to court.
Would this be a good use of public resources or even fair? No, but that would not stop the prosecution.
Its not just the 6 second rule that seems to have vanished, defenders appear to have a free rein when it comes to holding on to an opponent`s shirt in the penalty area and the attacking side are allowed to block a goalkeeper as much as they like - anywhere else on the pitch and its called obstruction. And I seem to recall that putting your body between an opponent and the ball without making any attempt to touch the ball is also obstruction but players do that all the time when they are trying to shepherd the ball out for a goalkick.
The goalie thing aside, time wasting will be a thing of the past just as soon as the clock is stopped whenever the ball goes out of play. Bring it on.
I've *never* seen the 6 second rule enforced. I've seen Cech hold on to it for fifteen seconds too.
Robert you`re spot on about the 6 seconds - for whatever reason its a rule that is seldom enforced these days. Hopefully one of the things that will come out of this incident is that the authorities will look at ways of putting a stop to time wasting. Currently a player can get a yellow card if he waste too much time but unless he`s already on a yellow that doesn`t seem to act as a deterent. What is needed is something that really punishes time wasting and the obvious punishment is to award a time penalty - say 30 seconds or the first offence which increases by 10 seconds for each subsequent offence. I`m sure that if players thought that a couple of minutes could be added on if they wasted time they wouldn`t do it. And to avoid a losing team trying to gain an extra couple of minutes by time wasting their time penalty would work in reverse - the seconds taken off instead of added on.
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