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Australia soccer star Sam Kerr pleads not guilty to racially aggravated harassment charge in Britain

LONDON (AP) — Australian soccer star Sam Kerr has pleaded not guilty to racially aggravated harassment of a police officer, prosecutors in Britain said on Monday.

The 30-year-old striker, who plays her club soccer for Chelsea in England, was charged with causing a police officer harassment, alarm or distress during an incident in Twickenham, southwest London, on Jan. 30 last year, according to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The PA news agency in Britain reported that London's Metropolitan Police said the incident involved an officer who was responding to a complaint about a taxi fare.

Kerr was charged in January. She denied the charge at a plea and trial preparation hearing at Kingston upon Thames Crown Court on Monday, the Press Association reported. She is set to face court next February.

Chelsea has not commented officially about the reported incident.

Australia's soccer federation on Tuesday said it was aware of the proceedings in Britain involving Kerr but was unable to comment on the ongoing legal matter.

“Our focus remains on supporting all our players, both on and off the field,” Football Australia said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation and provide support as appropriate.”

Kerr is currently sidelined after an anterior cruciate ligament injury during a warm-weather training camp with Chelsea women’s team in Morocco in January.

Kerr is the captain of Australia's national women's team, the Matildas, and the country's all-time leading scorer in international soccer with 69 goals from 128 games.

She has scored 58 goals for Chelsea in the WSL since 2020 following prolific stints playing for clubs in the U.S. and Australia.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

The Associated Press