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Hayes upset by Eidevall’s ‘male aggression’ in Conti Cup final loss

After a confrontation following the Conti Cup final, Emma Hayes claimed Jonas Eidevall showed “male aggression” with the Arsenal manager forced to defend himself.

The pair clashed at the end of the Gunners’ 1-0 win over Chelsea at Molineux – retaining their competition title in the process – with Hayes pushing Eidevall during a heated exchange of words.

There also looked to be an incident between Erin Cuthbert and Eidevall on the touchline towards the end of extra-time, with the then-Chelsea captain appearing angered by the Gunners boss.

The Arsenal manager later explained how a disagreement over using a multi-ball or single-ball system had been the root cause, but Hayes was angry with his actions towards her player.

She told BBC Sport: “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.

“Fronting up or squaring up to a player is something that’s unacceptable. 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.”

Stin Blackstenius celebrates with her team-mates after giving Arsenal the lead in extra-time of the Conti Cup final
Image: Stina Blackstenius scored late in added time to win the Conti Cup for Arsenal

Eidevall: I had no form of contact with anyone

Eidevall has defended himself against accusations of aggression, explaining how he reacted as Chelsea looked to switch to a multi-ball system late in the game when they needed a goal.

He told BBC Sport: “My word on what was happening would be that before the game we had a discussion between the clubs about whether to use one ball or multi-ball system.

What is the difference between multi-ball and single-ball systems?

  • The multi-ball system allows for a different ball to be used after the original ball has gone out of play, designed to ensure the game keeps flowing as quickly as possible.
  • A single ball system means using and returning the same ball each time.

“In this situation, Arsenal said multi-ball, Chelsea said one ball. The decision was to play the final on a one ball system.

“The ball goes out of play, the Chelsea player wants a new ball to take a quick throw-in and I said ‘we play with only one ball and you guys were the ones who decided that’.

“Obviously it drives all kinds of emotions in there, nothing more, nothing less. I can’t see that I did anything, had any form of contact with anyone – either a player or a coach. That was it.”

“To be honest I can’t really take it seriously [being called an ‘aggressor’].”

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source