Matildas captain Sam Kerr’s alleged racist slur to police officer published in UK tabloids

Matildas captain Sam Kerr allegedly called a London police officer a “stupid white b***ard” during a dispute over a taxi fare, a UK newspaper has reported.

The striker is charged with using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress to PC Lovell during an incident in Twickenham on January 30 last year.

“The charge relates to an incident involving a police officer who was responding to a complaint involving a taxi fare,” the UK’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

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The Sun reports the racial slur was captured on the officer’s bodycam.

Harassment convictions in the UK can include a sentence of up to two years in custody when the offence is racially or religiously aggravated.

Matildas captain Sam Kerr. Credit: Getty

Kerr, who pleaded not guilty to the charge in a London court on Monday, denies the allegation.

The global football star’s lawyers will argue an abuse of process at a pre-trial hearing on April 26 and seek to have the charge downgraded or dropped, according to court documents cited by multiple UK media outlets.

The April hearing comes ahead of a trial slated for next February.

Kerr was charged on January 21 this year with the time period between the incident and charge being laid understood to be central to her legal team’s abuse of process claim.

Football Australia (FA) chief executive James Johnson on Tuesday said Kerr didn’t inform the sport’s hierarchy of the “very serious” charge.

Johnson said he had contacted Kerr to seek an explanation regarding the “unsettling event”.

On Wednesday, FA declined to comment further.

Johnson and Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson on Tuesday both said they were unaware of Kerr facing court until stories surfaced in the media.

“That is when Football Australia found out about this unsettling event,” Johnson told reporters.

“We are trying to get to the bottom of it … we have got our own questions that we’d like to know (answers to), we have got to find out what actually happened.

“But we also want to say that there is a process that is underway in the United Kingdom and that process needs to run its course.”

Johnson said it was too early to determine if the controversy would impact on Kerr’s tenure as Matildas captain, a position she has held since February 2019.

Gustavsson offered his support to Kerr.

Tony Gustavsson is standing by Sam Kerr as the Matildas skipper faces racial harassment charges. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

“I was informed this morning and obviously was surprised,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“The only thing I can comment on is my experience and interaction with Sam as a person, as a footballer, and I have only positive experiences.

“FA was very clear in terms of supporting our players on and off the field … I will, as a human being, always support.”

Kerr’s manager of her English club Chelsea, Emma Hayes, said it was “a difficult time” for the star player.

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

“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.”

– with AAP

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