Emma Hayes calls out ‘male aggression’ from Jonas Eidevall in League Cup final

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes called out Arsenal counterpart Jonas Eidevall for what she claimed to be “male aggression” following a touchline fracas with Blues midfielder Erin Cuthbert late in the Gunners’ 1-0 extra-time League Cup final victory.

Eidevall was quick to defend his behaviour, saying the disagreement began with a pre-match decision, favoured by Chelsea, to use a one-ball system in the final instead of Arsenal’s multi-ball preference.

Cuthbert had gone for a throw-in late in extra time when she turned around and walked towards Eidevall – possibly reacting to something the Arsenal boss had said – and the pair exchanged words on the touchline.

After the final whistle, decided by a Stina Blackstenius strike 116 minutes into what had been a goalless stalemate, Hayes appeared to shove Eidevall as the two went in for their post-match handshake.

Asked about the Cuthbert incident, the Chelsea manager 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.”

Eidevall disagreed with Hayes’ assessment of his actions, telling BBC Sport: “To be honest, I can’t really take it seriously (being called an aggressor).

“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.

“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 now 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.”

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