The Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will be the subject of an individual league action from the club’s former first-team doctor Eva Carneiro, it has emerged.
Unless there is an out of court settlement over the issue Jose Mourinho will have to appear at an employment tribunal. Carneiro’s lawyers are already suing the football club itself over constructive dismissal claims, but the legal claim against the Portuguese manager will be a separate one.
Carneiro was dropped from first-team duties earlier in the season after Mourinho called her ‘naive’ for her decision to treat Eden Hazard on the pitch during Chelsea’s opening game of the season against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge. The doctor and Chelsea’s physio, Jon Fearn, ran on to the pitch when Hazard was down injured and they had been called on several times by the match referee.
Mourinho was angry with their decision to enter the field of play. Chelsea were already down to ten men after their goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was sent off for a deliberate foul on Swansea’s striker Bafetimbi Gomis. It meant that Hazard had to leave the pitch, temporarily leaving the Blues with just nine players.
Mourinho said after the match, “I was unhappy with my medical staff. They were impulsive and naive. Whether you are a kit man, doctor or secretary on the bench you have to understand the game. You have to know you have one player less and to assist a player you must be sure he has a serious problem. I was sure Eden did not have a serious problem. He had a knock. He was tired”.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ was widely criticised for his comments but the Football Association cleared him of using discriminatory language in the incident. Carneiro, however, claimed that she was not spoke to personally during the FA’s investigation into the matter, despite the fact that the FA themselves say she was given an opportunity to speak.
The fact that Eva Carneiro’s lawyers have launched an individual legal claim against Mourinho on the grounds of victimisation and discrimination suggests that they feel the manager was instrumental in Carneiro’s apparent demotion in the aftermath of the incident. Neither Carneiro nor her lawyers were willing to comment on the matter as the legal proceedings are still active, whilst Chelsea have also declined to comment on the matter.
The way the Football Association has handled the case has been criticised by Heather Rabbatts, an FA independent director, as well as by the Women in Football network group. Rabbatts is the chair of the governing body’s Inclusion Advisory Board and will question the FA chief executive Martin Glenn and the head of governance Darren Bailey about the handling of the case. Meanwhile the FA themselves will be investigation Rabbatts regarding her comments on the investigation.
The legal action is the latest moment in a series of difficult incidents for the Chelsea manager, with the Football Association having hit him with two separate fines of £40,000 and £50,000 as well as a stadium ban and a one-match suspended stadium ban for incidents regarding his behaviour towards referees. It also comes on the back of his side’s 3-1 home defeat to Liverpool, leaving his side 15th in the Premier League with just eleven points after the same amount of games.