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16th Mar 2024

Arsenal women wear Chelsea socks in match after bizarre kit clash

Ryan Price

Kick off was delayed by thirty minutes because of a sock controversy.

The Women’s Super League clash between Chelsea and Arsenal last night was overshadowed by a kit mishap before the game even started.

Emma Hayes’ Chelsea side were hosting Arsenal at Stamford Bridge with kick-off scheduled for 7pm yesterday evening.

Leah Williamson of Arsenal Women in action during the Barclays Women’s Super League match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at Stamford Bridge on March 15, 2024 in London, England.
(Photo by Gaspafotos/MB Media/Getty Images)

Questions were raised during both team’s warm-up sessions in the hour before the game was due to start, as match officials noticed that both squads were wearing matching white socks.

Deeming this to be an issue, the referee ordered the Arsenal coaching staff to source replacement socks for the entire team just moments before kick off.

This led to a scramble from one of the Arsenal staff members to the Stamford Bridge club shop to buy a pair for each player.

Arsenal reportedly had to tape over the Nike logo, Chelsea’s kit sponsor, on each pair of socks before heading back out onto the pitch.

As a result of the kit malfunction, kick off was rescheduled for 7:30pm, and led to backlash from viewers on social media.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright, who was attending the game, posted that the situation was “emarassing” and “ridiculous”.

Commentators on BBC Radio Five Live were similarly baffled by the incident, with former Wales striker Helen Ward describing the delay as “silly”.

 ‘I’m sure it has happened in the men’s game as well but when this happens on such a high-profile game in the WSL, a game that’s live on TV, a game that’s got a near sell-out crowd, it doesn’t help those that still want to put it down,” she said.

“It’s silly little things that make a massive impact.”

Luckily, the game that followed was an action-packed one, with Chelsea beating Arsenal by three goals to one.

Lauren James opened the scoring inside fifteen minutes before Sjoeke Nusken scored a brace ahead of half-time.

Arsenal managed to pull one back late on thanks to a Catarina Macario own goal.

Chelsea have now moved to the top of the WSL table, just three points ahead of Manchester City who have a game in hand.

Despite the inconvenience, Chelsea’s social media team tried to lighten the mood during the half hour delay by posting a tongue-in-cheek caption on their Twitter page.

Considering the way the game ended up, I don’t think many Arsenal fans will find that quite as amusing as Chelsea and neutral fans will.

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