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01st Apr 2024

Emma Hayes says ‘male aggression shouldn’t be tolerated’ in women’s game after altercation with Arsenal manager

Charlie Herbert

Emma Hayes says ‘male aggression shouldn’t be tolerated’ in women’s game after altercation with male manager

‘I don’t think we should tolerate male aggression like we did today’

Emma Hayes accused Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall of “male aggression” following the Women’s League Cup final between her Chelsea side and the Gunners.

Eidevall’s side won the Continental Cup thanks to a 116th minute winner from Stina Blackstenius.

Along with retaining their title, Arsenal’s 1-0 win also ended Chelsea’s quadruple hopes.

It had been a tense and edgy affair between the two London powerhouses, and tensions spilled over at the final whistle between Hayes and Eidevall.

As the two managers went to shake hands at full time, Hayes pushed her Swedish counterpart away, with Eidevall reacting with bemusement.

When asked about the incident after the game, Hayes accused Eidevall of “male aggression,” saying that it should not be tolerated.

She said: “I think there’s a way to behave on the side of the pitch and not for the first time, I’ve been in women’s football a long time and I don’t think we should tolerate male aggression like we did today.”

Hayes also accused Eidevall of “unacceptable” behaviour towards Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert, who he had a brief altercation with during the match.

“Fronting up or squaring up to a player is something that’s unacceptable,” she continued. “I’ve never been booked in 12 years of my career but I think there’s a way to behave on the touchline. He received a yellow card but perhaps should have been more.”

“I get he is a winner, but his behaviour is unacceptable. There were a couple [of instances], but the way he fronted up to Erin was unacceptable. We should not blow it up, and I’m sure when he is calm we can have a conversation.

“It is not the first time he has been told, but it should not be a massive story.”

Eidevall later responded to Hayes’ comments, labelling the Chelsea manager “irresponsible” for her words

He told the BBC: “I don’t see me as aggressive. She is irresponsible putting that label on it.

“There is a way you behave in the technical area. You need to be a good winner and a good loser. I am happy with the way I conduct myself. Others need to look at themselves in the mirror.”

The Arsenal boss said the disagreement with Hayes was to do with Chelsea’s decision to play with just one ball for the match.

Usually, multiple balls are placed around the side of the pitch to be picked up and used when the ball goes out of play, helping speed up the game.

However, Eidevall said the Blues “wanted a one-ball system.”

He continued: “So we played with one ball, then in the final minutes they want another ball to play quickly. I said this and Erin was not happy in that situation.”

The League Cup represented Arsenal’s only realistic hope of silverware this season, having already been knocked out of the FA Cup and currently sitting nine points behind Manchester City in the Women’s Super League.

For Chelsea, they’ll still be hoping to secure the treble in Hayes’ final season at the club.

They are three points behind City in the WSL, but with a game in hand, whilst also having semi finals in the Women’s FA Cup and Women’s Champions League to look forward to.

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