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Rafa: Three-game ban Haz' to suffice

RAFAEL BENITEZ has confirmed Chelsea would not accept an extended ban for Eden Hazard after breaking his silence on the Swansea ball-boy saga.

Two days after refusing to answer questions on Hazard's red card for kicking out at Liberty Stadium ball boy Charlie Morgan, interim Blues boss Benitez insisted a three-game suspension was "enough" punishment for the offence.

Friday afternoon saw the Football Association charge Hazard over the incident, stating the standard sanction for violent conduct was "clearly insufficient" in the Belgian's case.

Chelsea had today still to decide whether to contest that charge but it is understood that they would have to do so to stand any realistic hope of avoiding an additional ban.

Appeal

Anything over three matches would trigger an automatic appeal by the European champions and Benitez said after yesterday's 2-2 FA Cup fourth-round draw at Brentford: "At the moment, we will accept that three games is enough. So we will see what happens."

Benitez claimed he was unaware whether the club would fight the charge, although it is understood they are ready to use video evidence to show Hazard poked the ball from under Morgan in an attempt to retrieve it rather than simply kicking the 17-year-old in last Wednesday's League Cup clash.

"For a player that was in a cup competition, with this intensity, I think that a three-game ban is enough."

Hazard served the first instalment of his automatic suspension yesterday.