Premier League goalkeeper appears to push ballboy in anger during game

Soccer fans were taken aback on Tuesday when they saw a goalie appear to push a ballboy half his size during a game.

Fulham and Bournemouth faced each other on Tuesday in a Premier League match, which the latter eventually won, 3-0.

But during the second half, there was a weird moment when Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno looked like he pushed a Bournemouth ballboy after retrieving a ball from him.

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Marcos Senesi of Bournemouth nicks the ball away from Bernd Leno of Fulham during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Fulham FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2023 in Bournemouth, England.  (Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

During the 75th minute, a ball went out of bounds, resulting in a goal kick for Fulham.

Leno could be seen reaching for the ball, perhaps in an effort to hurry the ballboy to give him the ball.

When Leno was finally given the ball, Leno extended his left arm into the chest of the boy.

Perhaps there was some impatience and anger in Leno, as his team was already down two goals with little time left — yet it’s not uncommon to see ballboys act slowly if the home team is winning.

Leno was booed by the Bournemouth faithful throughout the remainder of the match, but he did eventually make amends with the boy. The two hugged it out a few moments later, and offered an apology to the crowd as well.

Fulham manager Marco Silva recounted the incident after the game, defending his keeper and also calling out that the ballboy had been too slow.

Bernd Leno in net

Bernd Leno of Fulham during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Fulham FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2023 in Bournemouth, England.  (Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

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“He wanted to play quick and the ballboys were… I don’t know who gave instructions to them for them to always hold the ball and to delay the [restart of the] game,” he said, via The Guardian. “OK, we were losing, he ran towards the ball. I didn’t see him push the ballboy. He touched the ballboy, he didn’t push the ballboy — they are different things. I’m not English, but I know the difference between one word and the other. We have to say the truth.”

Bernd Leno

Bernd Leno of Fulham during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Fulham FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2023 in Bournemouth, England.  (Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

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Leno was issued a yellow card earlier in the match, and The Guardian notes he could face further discipline.

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