Advertisement

Emma Hayes gives Sam Kerr ‘full support’ after racially aggravated harassment charge

Emma Hayes, Head Coach of Chelsea Women and Sam Kerr of Chelsea prior to the Women's FA Community Shield Final at Wembley Stadium on August 29, 2020 in London, England
Emma Hayes has worked with Kerr since the latter joined Chelsea in 2020 - Getty Images/Harriet Lander

Emma Hayes says Sam Kerr has Chelsea’s “full support” following the news that the striker will stand trial next year charged with the racially aggravated harassment of a police officer.

Kerr appeared at Kingston Crown Court via video link on Monday and entered a not guilty plea. The 30-year-old denies using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress during an incident in Twickenham, south-west London, on Jan 30, 2023.

“The first thing I want to say is that Sam has our full support. She knows that,” Hayes, the Chelsea manager, said. “It’s a difficult time for her. Of course I can’t comment, you know that. What I can say is that I know she has 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, and she knows that, and it’s really important I get that across, it’s something I really value. There are 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 just want to make it clear that Sam will be fully supported by me and everybody else at Chelsea.”

Kerr was ordered to attend a four-day trial, scheduled for February next year, during which two police officers are expected to give evidence.

A Metropolitan Police statement read: “The charge relates to an incident involving a police officer who was responding to a complaint involving a taxi fare on Jan 30 2023 in Twickenham.”

Kerr suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury during Chelsea’s warm-weather training camp in Morocco during the Women’s Super League’s winter break and will therefore be out for at least the rest of the season.

Chelsea face Manchester City on Thursday in a Women’s League Cup semi-final.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.