Australian football star Sam Kerr pleads not guilty to 'racially aggravated offence'

Chelsea FC star and captain of Australia's women's team Sam Kerr has pleaded not guilty to a "racially aggravated offence" against a police officer, British authorities said Monday.

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The 30-year-old striker was charged following an incident with an officer on January 30 last year in Twickenham, a south-west London suburb.

The officer was "responding to a complaint regarding taxi charging," a Metropolitan Police spokesperson wrote in a statement to CNN on Monday.

Kerr was charged "by postal summons on January 21 with a racially aggravated offense under Section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986," the Metropolitan Police added.

Kerr denied the allegation at Kingston Upon Thames Crown Court on Monday, the Prosecution Service confirmed to CNN.

She is expected to appear at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on February 1, 2025, the Metropolitan Police said.

Football Australia said it was "aware of the legal proceedings involving Sam Kerr in the UK" and would provide "support" to the Matildas captain.

"As this is an ongoing legal matter, we cannot comment further at this time. Our focus remains on supporting all of our players, both on and off the field. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide support as appropriate," Football said. Australia.

The Perth-born soccer star joined Chelsea in 2019 and helped transform the club into the country's best women's team, winning four consecutive Women's Super League (WSL) titles, three FA Cups and two League Cups in his four seasons in London.

Since her arrival, Kerr has scored 99 goals in 128 games.

Last year, she led the Australian women's team in making national history by becoming the first team, either men's or women's, to reach a soccer World Cup semi-final.

In January, Kerr suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during training, according to Chelsea FC and the Matildas, ruling her out of the second half of the English Women's Super League season and the Olympic qualifying series. AFC Women's against Uzbekistan in February.