Swansea City vice chairman Leigh Dineen had denied that the ballboys at the club's Capital One Cup semifinal second-leg draw with Chelsea were told to waste time.
The Swans' aggregate victory over the European champions guaranteed them a place in the final, but it was overshadowed by an incident involving ballboy Charlie Morgan and Blues' winger Eden Hazard. Morgan fell on the ball out of play and the Belgium international attempted to kick the ball from the 17-year-old's grasp, but appeared to catch him in the ribs.
Hazard was sent off for the incident, and although the pair both apologized and both clubs claimed the incident has been dealt with, Morgan’s twitter account shows that before the game he posted a message including the hashtags, "#needed #for #timewasting" after being drafted into the game when a colleague was unable to make it due to poor weather conditions.
Dineen quashed and suggestion that Morgan and the rest of the ballboys were ordered to give the Swans an advantage, though.
"There was no agenda, absolutely not," Dineen told the Guardian. "Stoke, a few years ago, would get the ballboy to wipe the ball down for a long throw, and that was something the ballboys were obviously told to do. But certainly we don't line up the ballboys and ask them to waste time. Definitely not."
He also defended referee Chris Foy's decision to show the Belgian a red card for his actions, stating that the referee had no real alternative.
"If that took place on the pitch, he would be sent off," Dineen said. "If a player was lying on the floor and another player had kicked out, the referee would have no alternative but to send him off."
Dineen also announced that the club would not be holding an internal investigation into the incident, and that both sides have moved on.
"We have played two games against the European champions and they have failed to score, and I think it's sad that's been overshadowed by this incident," Dineen said. "It's happened, it's over and done with, they've shook hands and we move on."
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