By STEVE DOUGLAS
LONDON (AP) – Just when it seemed Chelsea’s reputation couldn’t sink any lower, along comes “Ballboygate.”
The Football Association’s disciplinary body is set to open a fresh file on the English club Thursday after winger Eden Hazard was sent off for kicking a 17-year-old ball boy while attempting to retrieve the ball in the League Cup semifinals.
The Belgium winger has apologized to the ball boy and will not face criminal charges, but will be handed a minimum three-match ban for violent conduct.
After a controversy-ridden 2012 that included racism scandals involving John Terry, Ashley Cole and John Obi Mikel last year, Chelsea must now face up to further accusations that its millionaire players are out of control.
Former referee Dermot Gallagher said “there’s no defense” for Hazard’s actions.