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Emma Hayes: Sam Kerr has Chelsea’s full support after not guilty plea

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 6 Mar 2024

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Emma Hayes insists Chelsea are fully standing behind Sam Kerr after it was revealed the striker had pleaded not guilty to racially aggravated harassment of a police officer.

The Australia captain was charged with causing a police officer harassment, alarm or distress during an incident in Twickenham, south-west London, on January 30 last year, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Kerr, of Richmond, denied the charge at a plea and trial preparation hearing at Kingston upon Thames Crown Court on Monday.

Blues boss Hayes said: “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 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.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said the incident involved an officer who was responding to a complaint about a taxi fare.

Kerr is due to face trial next February, according to reports.

The 30-year-old is two months into a lengthy period on the sidelines after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury during the Blues’ warm-weather training camp in Morocco.

Four-time defending Women’s Super League champions Chelsea are still on course to be the only English side other than Arsenal’s women in 2006-07 to achieve a quadruple, having secured a place in Thursday night’s Conti Cup semi-final with Manchester City and will play their FA Cup quarter-final at Everton on Sunday.

Leg one of their Champions League quarter-final awaits at the end of the month, while the Blues are also square with City on 37 points at the top of the WSL table, leading the pack only on goal difference.

When the two sides met in league action last month it was City who emerged victorious, smashing Chelsea’s 33-match unbeaten WSL run at Kingsmeadow, breaking open the title chase and setting up a tantalising finish to the league campaign.

Asked if Hayes would be seeking revenge, she said: “This is not Star Wars. This is no Death Star-destroying moment. Revenge for me is something I don’t really think about when it comes to football.

“I love being in these games, I know the team loves being in these situations, so I look forward to it.”

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