Emma Hayes: Sam Kerr has Chelsea’s ‘full support’ after alleged harassment charge


Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says Sam Kerr has the team’s “full support” after she was charged with the alleged racially aggravated harassment of a police officer.

The 30-year-old striker will appear in court next year after being charged with the alleged offence on January 21 under Section 4A of the Public Order Act. She pleaded not guilty at a hearing at Kingston upon Thames Crown Court on Monday.

Speaking to the media for the first time since the charges were made public, Hayes pledged Kerr would be “supported by me and everybody else”.

When asked if the club had been aware of the situation, Hayes replied: “Sam has our full support, she knows that. It’s a difficult time for her. Of course I can’t comment, you know that. I can say that I know she’s pleaded not guilty and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardise anything for Sam by speaking about it. For that reason, I’m sure you can appreciate that’s all I’m going to say on the matter.

“But she has our full support, she knows that, it’s really important I get that across, it’s something I really really value.

“There’s difficult moments, tough times and that’s what my role is at this football club, to make sure I look after our people and I want to make it clear that Sam will be supported by me and everybody else.”

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What does Kerr’s harassment charge mean for Australia striker and her Chelsea future?

Kerr is due to appear at a trial at Kingston upon Thames Crown Court, south-west London, on February 3, 2025. It is expected to last between four and five days.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said that the charge “relates to an incident involving a police officer who was responding to a complaint involving a taxi fare on January 30, 2023 in Twickenham”.

Kerr is sidelined for the remainder of the 2023-24 season after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury during a warm weather training camp in Morocco in January. She underwent successful surgery shortly after sustaining the injury.

The Athletic reported in January that Kerr has agreed in principle to extend her contract at Chelsea. Her existing deal is due to expire in the summer.

National team coach Tony Gustavsson said on Tuesday he was yet to speak to Kerr and refused to comment on her position as captain of the team.

“We woke up to this this morning,” Football Australia CEO James Johnson said on Tuesday when asked whether Kerr had informed them of the charge.

“Of course, it’s a very serious allegation. It regards racism and there’s no place for racism in our sport.

“At the same time Sam has rights, natural justice rights, procedural rights that she’s got to work her way through and we’re respectful of that.”

(Clive Rose, Getty Images)





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