Chelsea’s former club doctor, Eva Carneiro, has appeared at an employment tribunal that will hear evidence regarding her constructive dismissal case against her former employers.
Carneiro is reportedly suing the defending Premier League champions for constructive dismissal and breach of contract, with the preliminary hearing on the case taking place yesterday at the London South Employment Tribunal, Croydon.
The case stems from when the club’s then manager, Jose Mourinho, called Carneiro and Chelsea’s physio, Jon Fearn, ‘impulsive and naive’ for running on to the pitch towards the end of Chelsea’s opening game of the season at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were already down to 10 men during the match against Swansea City after their goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, had been sent off for a foul on the Swans’ striker Bafetimbi Gomis. Eden Hazard then seemed to be in some physical discomfort after a tackle left him prone on the turf.
The match referee, Michael Oliver, called Chelsea’s medical staff onto the pitch several times before they responded, running on to give Hazard treatment under the referee’s instruction. According to the rules the Belgian then had to leave the pitch temporarily, leaving the home team with nine players.
In the aftermath of the game Carneiro found that her role was ‘downgraded’, meaning that she was not allowed on the Chelsea bench for the club’s next game against Manchester City. She was also not allowed to be around the Chelsea training sessions, though she could still deal with members of the first-team.
In September last year it was announced that Carneiro had left Chelsea, then on the 30th of the month the Football Association announced that they had cleared Jose Mourinho of making discriminatory comments and confirmed that they would not be taking any disciplinary action against the Portuguese manager. In October Carneiro expressed her disappointment at this decision and confirmed that the FA had at no point asked to speak to her about Mourinho’s comments, including the fact that he appeared to call her a ’filho da puto’, which translates from Portuguese to being ‘son of a bitch’.
The claim against Chelsea was lodged by Carneiro’s lawyers in late October 2015, with the Queen’s Council representing Carneiro confirming yesterday that no settlement had been reached with the club and that a date has been fixed for the next hearing. In November last year Carneiro also lodged a separate, yet connected, legal claim against Mourinho himself.
In December Chelsea decided to sack the 52 year old manager, replacing him on and interim basis with Dutchman Guus Hiddink. Some members of the press claimed that part of the reason Mourinho lost the support of his dressing room was due to his treatment of Carneiro, someone that the players had a lot of respect for. More details will no doubt emerge on the case in the coming weeks.