Sam Kerr
Sam Kerr has been given support by Chelsea boss Emma Hayes as she's set to face trial in the UK. Image by Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS
  • soccer

Sam Kerr has our full support, says Chelsea boss Hayes

Ian Chadband March 7, 2024

Matildas captain Sam Kerr has been told she has the “full support” of English champions Chelsea as her club manager Emma Hayes talked of the “difficult time” being faced by the Australian soccer great.

Kerr has pleaded not guilty to a charge of racially aggravated harassment, causing alarm or distress to a police officer during an incident in Twickenham, south-west London, in January last year.

“The first thing I want to say is that Sam has our full support. She knows that,” said Hayes, talking in public for the first time about her 30-year-old star player at a news conference in London on Wednesday. 

Kerr has Chelsea support
 Chelsea boss Emma Hayes says “Sam has our full support – and she knows that.” Image by Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS 

“Yes, it’s a difficult time for her. Of course, I can’t comment (about the case). What I can say is 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. 

“And 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 and she knows that, and it’s really important I get that across. That’s something I really, really value.

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

Kerr was charged on January 21, almost a year after the incident in London was alleged to have occurred. The 30-year-old pleaded not guilty via video link at Kingston Crown Court on Monday.

Kerr is currently recovering amid a lengthy spell on the sidelines after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury during Chelsea’s warm-weather training camp in Morocco.

Kerr, Australia’s leading all-time scorer, has scored 99 goals in 128 matches for the London side, winning the league four times, the FA Cup three times and the League Cup twice.

Kerr was charged on 21 January this year “with a racially aggravated offence under Section 4A Public Order Act 1986”, a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said.

“The charge relates to an incident involving a police officer who was responding to a complaint involving a taxi fare on 30 January 2023 in Twickenham.”

Kerr is scheduled to appear at Kingston upon Thames Crown Court in London on 3 February 2025.