5 Mar 2024

Matildas captain Sam Kerr charged over alleged racially aggravated harassment of police officer

12:54 pm on 5 March 2024

By Riley Stuart in London

Australia's forward #20 Sam Kerr celebrates scoring her team's first goal during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women's World Cup semi-final football match between Australia and England at Stadium Australia in Sydney on August 16, 2023. (Photo by Izhar KHAN / AFP)

Sam Kerr during last year's World Cup. Photo: IZHAR KHAN / AFP

Matildas captain Sam Kerr has been charged over alleged racially aggravated harassment of a police officer in London early last year.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said Kerr was given a court summons on January 21.

"The charge relates to an incident involving a police officer who was responding to a complaint involving a taxi fare on January 30, 2023 in Twickenham," the spokesperson said.

Kerr appeared in court in London on Monday, where British media is reporting she pleaded not guilty, and is set to face a trial in February 2025.

The 30-year-old is among the biggest names in Australian sport, and overcame a calf injury to dazzle at last year's World Cup.

She plays for Chelsea in England's Women's Super League, but is sidelined with a knee injury.

Kerr's Australian-based manager Niki White declined to comment.

The Perth-born striker has scored 58 goals for Chelsea in the WSL where she's played since 2020 after stints in Australia and the US.

She's found the back of the net 69 times in 128 games for the Matildas.

Australia's forward Samantha Kerr celebrates a goal that was later disallowed for offside during the France 2019 Women's World Cup round of sixteen football match between Norway and Australia, on June 22, 2019, at the Stade de Nice stadium in Nice, southern eastern France. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)

Photo: AFP

In a statement, the sport's governing body Football Australia said it was aware of the legal proceedings.

"As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to provide further comment at this time. Our focus remains on supporting all our players, both on and off the field. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide support as appropriate."

Decorated Australian player

Kerr has been the captain of the Matildas since 2019.

She has won the Golden Boot award in three different continents - the W-League in Australia and New Zealand, the NWSL in North America and the Women's Super League in Europe.

In January 2022, Kerr outranked Tim Cahill to become the highest-scoring player for Australia.

Western Australia's $A50.8 million State Football Centre was officially renamed the Sam Kerr Football Centre last October to honour her success and legacy in the football world.

Kerr has been sidelined by an ACL injury since January. Her father Roger Kerr said on Friday she was "definitely" out of the Paris Olympics, which the Matildas qualified for in a 10-0 thrashing of Uzbekistan in Melbourne last week.

This story was first published by the ABC.