Sam Kerr, captain of Australia’s women’s soccer team, is to face trial in England accused of the racially aggravated harassment of a police officer.

The West Australian, who plays for Chelsea in London, appeared in court in the British capital on Monday accused of using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress to PC Lovell during an incident in Twickenham on Jan. 30.

Kerr, who appeared at Kingston Crown Court via video link, spoke only to confirm her identity and to enter a not guilty plea to the charge, outlets in London and Australia reported.

The Metropolitan Police later confirmed: “Samantha Kerr, 30 (10.09.93) of Richmond was charged via postal charge requisition on 21 January with a racially aggravated offence under Section 4A Public Order Act 1986.

“The charge relates to an incident involving a police officer who was responding to a complaint involving a taxi fare on 30 January 2023 in Twickenham.”

“I understand that the defence is that she didn’t intend to cause alarm, harassment or distress to the officer, [her behaviour] did not amount to it and it was not racially aggravated,” Judge Judith Elaine Coello was reported to have said to Kerr’s barrister, Grace Forbes, in court.

Kerr is expected to go to trial in February next year with two police officers scheduled to give evidence. The trial is due to last four days.

Kerr is one of Australia’s best known and most recognisable figures, especially after the Matildas’ run to the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup earlier this year.

In May she carried the Australian flag at the coronation of King Charles in Westminster Abbey.

Informtation from AAP was used in this story.

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