Chelsea’s team doctor Eva Carneiro has yet to return to work at the defending Premier League champions after she was downgraded in the wake of Chelsea’s 2-2 home draw with Swansea on the opening day of the season.
Carneiro ran on to the pitch with Chelsea’s head physio Jon Fearn when Eden Hazard went down injured, much to the annoyance of manager Jose Mourinho. Despite being called on to the pitch several times by the match referee Michael Oliver, the Chelsea manager felt his medical team should have left Hazard to recover in his own time.
The medical staff’s decision to treat the mercurial midfielder meant that he had to come off the pitch, leaving the home team with nine men after Thibaut Courtois had already been given his marching orders for a foul on Bafetimbi Gomis.
Mourinho called his medical team “impulsive and naïve” for their actions and suggested that they “did not understand the game”. His comments were criticised for bordering on the sexist when he said, “Even if you are a kit man, doctor or secretary on the bench, you have to understand the game”.
He was also criticised by Eamonn Salmon, the chief executive of the Football Medical Association, who said, “They conducted themselves with integrity and professionalism – that is their job. We feel that she has been treated harshly”. The self proclaimed Special One has refused to back down, though, demoting Carneiro and suggesting that she will not be allowed to retake her place on the Chelsea bench when she does come back to work”.
The Portuguese manager claims that he has an “open relationship [with the medical staff]…that is open to criticism”, yet Carneiro, who has been with the club for five years, remains in ongoing discussions with her lawyers regarding her next step.
The incident is due to be discussed by the world governing body FIFA’s medical committee when the meet on September 11th, with scrutiny increasingly likely given the doctor’s refusal to return to work under Jose Mourinho.