Written by By Max Rayne, CNN
Australian national soccer team captain Megan Rapinoe has become the latest footballer to fall foul of the rule book after fighting back against an encroaching spectator on a pitch.
In the latest incident to grip the world of women’s soccer, Sydney-born Australian Sam Kerr was shown a red card during the game against New Zealand on Friday.
The striker, who is expected to join Scottish club Celtic next season, then barged the invader onto the ground for her trouble.
An independent match review panel will have the final say on whether Kerr receives a suspension, with a three-match ban the maximum punishment, though any reduction would be due to mitigating circumstances such as a good record.
Women’s World Cup star and Australian captain Megan Rapinoe shows her gesture for others affected by violence against women on a campaign to support violence prevention campaign #StopViolenceAgainstWomen. Credit: Courtesy Football Federation Australia
“You have to do your job, have a strong mentality and do it well,” Kerr told reporters after the game. “I’m a professional and I’ll just continue to do it.”
Rapinoe, who has been an outspoken advocate for women’s rights, came into the game after the player from New Zealand was cautioned for taking too long to leave the pitch, and was booted off the pitch herself for verbally abusing referee Heather Garriock.
The player from New Zealand was cautioned for taking too long to leave the pitch. Credit: Courtesy Football Federation Australia
It’s the latest high-profile in a series of incidents involving American women’s soccer players.
US star Abby Wambach was suspended for 10 matches in October after she sent an insulting text message to a reporter, while Wambach’s fellow players experienced harassment at a recent match in a game in Turkey.