‘We have to put player protection first’ – Chelsea’s Sam Kerr booked for barging into pitch invader

The pitch invader looks into the camera on his phone before being upended by Kerr
Kerr was booked for barging into the pitch invader before he was escorted from the field of play

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said the pitch invader incident involving Sam Kerr during the club’s Women’s Champions League game with Juventus is a reminder “that we have to put player protection first”.

Kerr was booked for her intervention.

“We have seen in the growth of the game that there is this sense the players are more in demand,” said Hayes.

“So I think it should serve as a reminder to us all and the stadiums and stewards that we have to put player protection first.”

The incident happened during the closing stages of the Group A encounter, which ended goalless, as a man entered the field and held up play.

Holding a mobile phone, he was pushed out of the way and told to leave the pitch by Chelsea captain Magdalena Eriksson.

His appearance was met with a chorus of boos from fans which turned to cheers when Australia captain Kerr barged him over, for which she received a booking from referee Sara Persson.

The incident capped a frustrating night for Chelsea, who need at least a draw in their final group game at Wolfsburg to guarantee progress to the quarter-finals after failing to break down the Italian champions.

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