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Sam Kerr: Chelsea striker to stand trial over alleged racial harassment of police officer

Sam Kerr pleaded not guilty to using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress to a police officer at a hearing on Monday; Chelsea and Australia striker is currently recovering from ACL surgery; Emma Hayes says Kerr has club's "full support"

Sam Kerr pleaded not guilty on Monday
Image: Sam Kerr is currently sidelined with an ACL injury

Emma Hayes says Sam Kerr has Chelsea's "full support" ahead of her trial next year.

Kerr has been charged with using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress to a police officer during an incident in Twickenham on January 30.

The 30-year-old Australia international attended a hearing on Monday via video-link and pleaded not guilty, with a four-day trial now slated to take place next February.

Chelsea did not comment on Kerr's case at the time but ahead of their League Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Thursday, Hayes said: "I think the first thing I want to say is Sam has our full support. She knows that.

"It's a difficult time for her. I can't comment [on the case]. What I can say is she has pleaded not guilty and I don't want to do anything to jeopardise anything for Sam by speaking about it.

"But she has our full support and she knows that. It's really important I get that across - it's something I really value.

"Difficult moments, tough times. That's what my role is in this football club - to make sure I look after our people."

Kerr is a two-time WSL Golden Boot winner and has helped Chelsea to four successive league titles, but will miss the majority of 2024 with an ACL injury.

Australia's football federation said on Tuesday it was aware of the proceedings involving Kerr but was unable to comment on the ongoing legal matter.

"Our focus remains on supporting all our players, both on and off the field," Football Australia said in a statement. "We will continue to monitor the situation and provide support as appropriate."

Kerr is the captain of Australia's national women's team and is the country's all-time leading scorer with 69 goals from 128 games.

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