Sam Kerr watches on as Matildas players caught in 'embarrassing' kit mishap in WSL

Arsenal were forced to change their socks, delaying the heavyweight clash with Chelsea by 30 minutes.

Sam Kerr was in attendance on Friday as Chelsea thrashed Arsenal 3-1 in the Women's Super League, in a game that was delayed by 30 minutes in farcical scenes. Arsenal, who feature Matildas players Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord and Kyra Cooney-Cross, rocked up to Stamford Bridge with the wrong colour socks and were ordered to change them by the referee.

The Arsenal players were originally wearing white socks, but referee Rebecca Welch said they had to change because Chelsea (the home team) were also wearing white socks. Arsenal eventually found a solution and bought some black socks from the Chelsea team shop, but that caused another problem.

Sam Kerr, pictured here during Chelsea's clash with Arsenal.
Sam Kerr watched on as Arsenal were caught in a farcical mishap against Chelsea. Image: Getty

The Chelsea socks featured the Nike logo, but Arsenal are sponsored by rival apparel giants Adidas. The Arsenal players therefore had to cover the Nike logo on their socks with blue tape, and the match eventually got underway.

Caitlin Foord, pictured here wearing the black socks with blue tape over the Nike logo.
Caitlin Foord is seen wearing the black socks with blue tape over the Nike logo.

Football world left fuming over 'embarrassing' scenes

But the farcical mishap meant the start was delayed by 30 minutes, leaving fans and commentators furious. Arsenal great Ian Wright, a keen supporter of the women's game, posted on social media: "Embarrassing this. Ridiculous."

Former England international Izzy Christiansen said the delayed start would have impacted the players and their preparation. "As a player you work so hard over the years to come up with your way of preparing for a game," she said on Sky Sports.

"Things like this are difficult to deal with. It's how you find a way of dealing with it internally and not let it affect your preparation."

An Arsenal player, pictured here wearing black Chelsea socks and blue take over the Nike logo.
Arsenal players were forced to wear black Chelsea socks and cover the Nike logo with blue tape.

Fellow former England international Karen Carney, who played for both clubs, wasn't impressed. She said: "Clearly it's a human error, a mistake, but it's embarrassing. This is a massive crowd, a massive game. It's a simple thing, a kit, and we have got it wrong. People make mistakes but the game does not need this and it's frustrating. It does not look good for the game."

Arsenal's night got even worse when the game began, slumping to a 3-1 loss to Chelsea. Sjoeke Nusken scored a first-half double and Lauren James also found the back of the net, before an own goal from Catarina Macario in the 86th minute got the Gunners a consolation.

The victory moved Chelsea three points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table and six ahead of Arsenal. City, who have Matildas gun Mary Fowler, have the chance to respond against Brighton on Sunday.

Sam Kerr appears in good spirits despite legal dramas

Chelsea's fine form has come without injured talisman Kerr, who is missing the entire season after rupturing her ACL. The Matildas captain was in attendance on Friday and appeared in a jovial mood despite the legal drama hanging over her head.

Kerr has yet to comment publicly after pleading not guilty to racially aggravated harassment of a police officer in an incident in January of 2023. Her lawyers are set to argue an abuse of process at a pre-trial hearing on April 26 and seek to have the charge downgraded or dropped altogether.

Sam Kerr, pictured here after Chelsea's win over Arsenal in the Women's Super League.
Sam Kerr looks on after Chelsea's win over Arsenal in the Women's Super League.

If that fails, Kerr will likely face a trial in February 2025 after she was charged with using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress to a police officer during an incident in Twickenham in south-west London. Kerr was charged on January 21 this year, but didn't inform Football Australia of the charge and her court appearance earlier this month.

Chelsea have offered Kerr their "full support", while Football Australia have done likewise and said: "Sam has pleaded not guilty and her right to a fair and just legal process is important. We trust the judicial system to handle this matter appropriately and urge respect for the legal proceedings. We are in touch with Sam and her team and Football Australia is committed to supporting Sam throughout this process."

with AAP