Hazard tells Martinez he must 'pay for dinner party' after red card in win over Wales

By Sports Desk September 22, 2022

Roberto Martinez revealed Eden Hazard informed him he must "pay for a dinner party" following his red card in Belgium's Nations League win over Wales.

The Red Devils kept their hopes of reaching the Nations League Finals alive with a 2-1 victory in Brussels; Kevin De Bruyne and Michy Batshuayi on target at King Baudouin Stadium.

Martinez was given his marching orders by referee Ali Palabiyik after preventing Wales from taking a quick throw-in deep into stoppage time as his side remained three points behind Group A4 leaders Netherlands, with Kieffer Moore's goal proving to be in vain.

The Spaniard did not feel he should have been ordered from the touchline and says his dismissal will be costly.

"It may have been yellow, but never red," he told VTM. "I was just trying to slow down the game a bit. The captain told me that in Belgium, you have to pay for a dinner party with a red card. I will do that.

"You did see different halves. Before half-time, we found the spaces well, with many chances and two goals. After that, we tried to look for the one-on-one less, and we let the ball move less quickly.

"I'm glad we played it so well after the [Wales] goal. We can learn a lot from this for the next games."

Meanwhile, De Bruyne also took a swipe at officials following a penalty incident late on. Belgium were initially awarded a spot-kick after the Manchester City maestro was challenged by Rhys Norrington-Davies.

The decision was rightly overturned following consultation with the VAR, as the Wales defender clearly played the ball, but the referee subsequently pointed for a goal-kick rather than a corner.

Asked about Belgium's penalty shout, De Bruyne told S4C: "I was already running to the corner. The rules are so stupid though; it should then be a corner.

"I think we fully deserved to win, we dominated the first half and created a lot of chances. Wales were playing man to man, so there were more options in the first half.

"Then we started the second half poorly. We have to keep the ball - as Wales were playing so deep - and wait for the right moments."

Related items

  • Martinez defends Belgium's 'golden generation', says England comparisons 'totally impossible' Martinez defends Belgium's 'golden generation', says England comparisons 'totally impossible'

    Roberto Martinez insists this is Belgium's "golden generation" and does not see any similarities with England's flops of the mid-2000s.

    This group of Belgium players has long been lauded, but the Red Devils' best performance of recent years saw them finish only third at the 2018 World Cup.

    As pressure builds on the side at the 2022 finals, where there have been reports of veteran stars quarrelling, coach Martinez has come to their defence.

    He sought to highlight the contributions of Belgium's leading men off the pitch, as well as on it, and suggested the England team given the same label under Sven-Goran Eriksson were not comparable.

    "It's interesting, because when I arrived in 2016, there was talk of a 'golden generation'," Martinez said on Wednesday.

    "Clearly we were not the golden generation. The golden generation of Belgian football was 1986 in Mexico. They were the ones who arrived into the semi-finals.

    "Since then, these players showed incredible commitment to the national team. We're talking about players who left Belgium very young, they went into the best dressing rooms in European football, they win trophies, and they're always committed.

    "We have eight players with over 100 caps; we have Thibaut Courtois reaching his 100th cap against Croatia. You've got players who gave their career for the national team.

    "This generation is the golden generation of Belgian football, there is no doubt.

    "They got the bronze medal in 2018, they kept the national team for four years at the number one spot in the world rankings, a population of 11,000,000.

    "Twenty-one of them got their A [coaching] licences. This generation is going to carry on impacting Belgian football from a coaching point of view for the next 20 years.

    "They were able to build a new training facility, state of the art, that is going to change Belgian football for the next generations.

    "What you can say is this generation haven't won a major tournament. But leaving a legacy goes a lot further than winning a tournament. I'm sure you can find national teams who win tournaments and they don't leave a legacy.

    "This group of players deserve respect, deserve admiration for what they've done.

    "From here, we can win, draw, lose, but with the legacy of this generation, I am the proudest person because I've been able to work with them, to see day to day how much they care.

    "The next 20 years in Belgian football will not be the same because of this generation.

    "You cannot compare it to England. England was a group of players that were sensational, outstanding at a group level, and they never found the way to do that with the international team. Comparisons are totally, totally impossible."

  • 'We are here on our own' – Martinez says rift reports were 'great own goal' for Belgium 'We are here on our own' – Martinez says rift reports were 'great own goal' for Belgium

    Roberto Martinez has blasted the Belgian media for coverage of a "genius" French-based report detailing supposed unrest in the Belgium camp ahead of a huge World Cup match against Croatia.

    Belgium lost 2-0 to Morocco in their second Group F game and must now defeat the 2018 finalists to be sure of advancing to the knockout stage.

    The Red Devils' preparation for that fixture has been hampered this week by discussion of a rift within the team, first reported by RTL and L'Equipe.

    Belgium's players subsequently came together for a meeting – "it wasn't a crisis meeting, as we might have heard from some quarters," insisted Timothy Castagne – as they aim to "show more solidarity" against Croatia.

    Castagne added the reports had "exaggerated a lot" and he had "seen worse", before Martinez, appearing after the defender at a pre-match news conference, suggested his team now knew they were in Qatar "on our own".

    "For us, nothing changes. The standards come from within," the coach said.

    "We were not happy with our two performances. We got the result in the first game, but we were not happy with our performance.

    "The second game was the first time we lost a game by two goals in a major tournament. You can imagine we were not happy with it. We had to react.

    "Then you see the storm on the outside and realise maybe we were listening too much to the noise on the outside before the tournament.

    "You have some outlets in Belgium who are quite happy to jump on fake news. That's quite astonishing. It's made the group quite aware that the least you listen to the noise from outside the better.

    "It's the biggest sporting event in the world, and you can see there are many World Cups being played. Maybe a country like France did a very good job with a story that became the main talking point of some outlets.

    "There is more desire to find negative news around this team, rather than getting the nation together, supporting this team, enjoying the talent of the best generation we ever had in Belgian football.

    "Probably that was a lesson for all of us: we are here on our own. We are here to fight for what we believe. Hopefully the fans, the real fans of the Red Devils, can enjoy the process."

    Pressed on his suggestion the story had come out of France and been intended to hurt Belgium, Martinez replied: "I've got too many things to do in camp to think about where this story comes.

    "What is clear is whoever came up with it, whoever has done it has scored a great goal, an own goal for Belgium.

    "If I'm an opposition and I can weaken another side and get them out of the World Cup, I would do that as a journalist, I would love to win my own World Cup. Whoever's done it is genius."

    Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said his side would not be "fooled" by the reports around the Belgium team, adding: "I don't have an opinion on them and what's happening there.

    "They are the second-best team in the world. That's all I care about. We are not focusing on any other aspects. We are focusing on Belgium, their quality.

    "They cannot forget overnight how to play football. They are a top-notch team. They're number two, and we're number 12."

  • ‘We can’t impact visa decisions’ – JFF hits back at Bailey claims, demands player provide evidence of  accusations made in explosive interview ‘We can’t impact visa decisions’ – JFF hits back at Bailey claims, demands player provide evidence of accusations made in explosive interview

    The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has refuted claims made in a recent interview by national player Leon Bailey and called for evidence in lieu of some of the explosive accusations levied against the organisation.

    In particular, the association took exception to a claim made by the player that suggested that the JFF had actively played a role in preventing his ability to travel abroad when he attempted to do so as a developing young player.

    “From I was 8 or 9 I have been getting 'fight' from the federation. They even tried to block me from going to Europe.  They linked up with the embassy to deny me a visa…the last time I went to Europe I had to fly to Cuba to get my visa,” Bailey told the Let’s Be Honest podcast.

    In addressing the issues, via a press release, the JFF expressed disappointment with many of the utterances made by the player and the manner in which the grievances were aired.

    Leon Bailey speaks out in explosive interview! The 25 y-o says JA football needs a proper system

    “It is unfortunate that Leon has apparently felt this way about the JFF, especially while playing for the Jamaica National team and not expressing it, and knowing his commitment to the program and country. He has indicated that the persons in the JFF, and by implication the JFF, has given him a fight and tried to block him from going to Europe by working through the Embassy…,” the release read.

    “This is quite unfortunate as the JFF has always seen Leon as an important member of the National team, and what he has said is baseless and is consistent with recent similar comments made, which we have called for evidence to be shared, either privately or publicly, so that we can act on it. To date, no such evidence has been shared. It is not credible to make anecdotal accusations without evidence, and by doing so seek to damage the reputation of individuals and the JFF as an organisation. We also find it impractical that a child between 8 and 12 years old would understand what the actions and motives of the JFF or any organisation would be, with any clear understanding as first-hand information,” it added.

    “In fact, by saying that the JFF has the capability to block an Embassy from issuing a visa, also implies that the Embassy is complicit with the JFF in acting, as he implies, in a “corrupt” manner. The JFF can assure everyone that we do not have the ability to influence a visa decision with any Embassy, and we would never seek to intervene in such a process.”

    The release went on to state that the matter had been referred to the team manager and coach for review.

     

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.