Surprised Matildas coach admits top player Sam Kerr kept her felony charge a secret from the squad and Football Australia.

According to, Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson claimed Sam Kerr did not inform him she would face a criminal prosecution in England because the superstar striker kept her racial harassment allegation and court appearance a secret. Kerr, Australia’s most prominent sportswoman, appeared in court in London on Monday accused with racially aggravated harassment of a police officer.

The 30-year-old pleaded not guilty and will face a four-day criminal trial next February. The Chelsea player is accused of using insulting, threatening, or abusive language that led PC Lovell to be alarmed or distressed on January 30th, last year.

Gustavsson told the journalists in Sydney on Tuesday afternoon that he had not been informed of the accusations before they were made public that morning. ‘This morning was the first time I heard about it,’ he explained. ‘I was notified this morning and was obviously startled; I had some opportunity to speak with the federation [Football Australia] about it.

‘And, as you know, the federation issued a statement. Because it is a legal procedure, I must refer to that statement.Unfortunately, I am unable to discuss further.But I want to make it clear that this was the first time I heard about it. Gustavsson was questioned about Kerr’s character and if the alleged offence was consistent with her characteristics. ‘I can’t comment on the crime since it’s a legal concern right now,’ he added. ‘The only thing I can say is about my experiences and relationships with Sam, as a person and a footballer.’And I’ve only had positive results from it.

When asked if he would support Kerr throughout the hearings, Gustavsson responded bluntly. ‘I believe the FA was also quite explicit about supporting our players both on and off the pitch,’ he said. ‘With all the respect and compassion that it deserves. And I see why there are so many questions about it.’Of course, as a person, I will always be supportive.

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Kerr was charged on January 21 of this year but failed to notify Football Australia (FA), according to CEO James Johnson.

“I woke up this morning like everyone else to the news,” Johnson told reporters in Adelaide. ‘And that’s when Football Australia learned about this upsetting incident. ‘We are now attempting to figure out what is going on.’We have our own questions, and we need to find out what occurred. ‘But we also want to emphasise that there is a process happening in the United Kingdom, and that process needs to take its course.’

Kerr appeared at Kingston Crown Court via video connection, speaking only to confirm her identify and register a not guilty plea. Harassment convictions in the UK can result in up to two years in prison if the conduct is racially or religiously motivated. The Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom reported that Samantha Kerr, 30, of Richmond, was charged with a racially aggravated offence under Section 4A of the Public Order Act of 1986 on January 21 via postal charge demand.

‘The accusation relates to an incident involving a police officer who was responding to a complaint about a taxi fare on January 30, 2023, in Twickenham. Judge Judith Elaine Coello was alleged to have told Kerr’s attorney, Grace Forbes, in court: ‘I understand that the defence is that she didn’t intend to create fear, harassment, or distress to the officer, [her actions] did not amount to it, and it was not racially aggravated.

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