Manchester City ball boy refuses to give ball back to Aston Villa's Hannah Hampton

A Manchester City ball boy refused to give the ball back to Aston Villa goalkeeper Hannah Hampton during a Women’s Super League clash between the two teams.

A Manchester City ball boy refused to give the ball back to Aston Villa goalkeeper Hannah Hampton during a Women’s Super League clash.

The incident occurred at the end of the first-half at the Manchester City Academy Stadium, with the score at 0-0.

The ball had gone out for a goal kick, prompting Hampton to go and collect it from the ball boy.

To Hampton’s confusion, the ball boy refused to give the ball to her. She looked around in astonishment, before remonstrating with the referee and reaching over to take the ball.

The ball boy continued to keep hold of the ball, but then reluctantly handed it over to Hampton as the seconds ticked away.

Footage of the incident was soon being shared widely on social media, with some Twitter users claiming the ball boy had been time wasting to preserve the goalless scoreline.

"Confirming City are playing for a draw," one Twitter user wrote alongside several laughing face emojis.

Another posted: "The ball boy time wasting is still killing me. He was so happy at the end. His loyalties lie with City first and foremost tbf."

Sky Sports commentator Jacqui Oatley soon revealed the ballboy had simply been following COVID-19 regulations.

According to the rules, the fourth official must throw a ball back into play instead of the ballboy. The ball boy was subsequently praised for holding his ground and wanting to follow the COVID-19 regulations to the letter.

An out-of-form Manchester City managed to thrash Aston Villa 5-0, with both goals coming in the second half.

Caroline Weir scored the opener just minutes into the second half, showing composure in the penalty box to curl the ball round Hampton and into Villa’s net.

Georgia Stanway doubled the lead soon after, before super substitution Hayley Raso helped Manchester City put the result beyond doubt.

The Australian capitalised on a mistake from Hampton to make the score 3-0, before setting up Lauren Hemp for City’s fourth goal.

Raso was then back on the scoresheet after tapping in the rebound from Hemp’s thunderous shot off the crossbar.

Manchester City are now sixth in the WSL table on 10 points, but with a game in hand over the majority of teams below them.

Aston Villa are level on points, but in seventh place due to an inferior goal difference.

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