The Football Association have cleared Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho of any wrong doing as far as discriminatory comments towards the club doctor Eva Carneiro is concerned, infuriating many people including the campaign group Women In Football.
Mourinho was involved a foul mouthed tirade towards Carneiro during Chelsea’s opening game of the season against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge. Having already had his goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois sent off for a challenge on Swansea’s striker Bafetimbi Gomis, Mourinho was angry to see the club doctor, Carneiro, and the physio, Jon Fearn, run on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard who was lying on the floor apparently injured in the final moments of the game. It meant that Hazard had to leave the pitch for treatment, momentarily leaving Chelsea with only nine players against Swansea’s eleven men.
According to lip reading experts Mourinho appeared to call Carneiro a “filho da puto” in Portuguese which, roughly translated into English means ‘son of a bitch’. He also spoke after the match about the incident and appeared to belittle Carneiro with a sexist barb when he said that even a “secretary on the bench” should know the rules of the game.
Women In Football said, “Our own language expert made it abundantly clear that the abusive words used by Mr Mourinho on the touchline that day were specifically directed towards a woman, as indicated by the grammar of his sentence. Other Portuguese speakers we contacted in gathering evidence also emphasised this point. We therefore find it extraordinary that any expert or Portuguese speaker would report otherwise”.
The statement from Women In Football was in response to the FA’s own statement that said it was ‘satisfied the words used do not constitute discriminatory language under FA rules’.
In a strongly worded statement Women In Football made clear their disdain towards the FA and the manner in which it operates, saying, “It’s another example of the FA failing to tackle discrimination. We are concerned by the serious flaws in the process of such investigations”.
Carneiro found that her role at the club was to be downgraded after the incident, with her presence on the bench during matches and at the sideline during the defending Premier League champion’s training sessions no longer required. She subsequently decided to leave the club meaning one of the few high profile women in important positions in the game was no longer there.
It is not the first time the Football Association have been embroiled in a decision over the interpretation of language, with the case against Luis Suarez in the aftermath of his incident with Patrice Evra being a prime example. In that case Liverpool Football Club’s lawyers and language experts claimed that the language used by the Uruguayan forward towards the French defender was in no way racially motivated, with the FA’s own experts disagreeing.
In this case the FA said, “Both the words used, as translated and analysed by the independent expert, and the video evidence, do not support the conclusion that the words were directed at any person in particular”. The decision means that Mourinho will not undergo any reprisals for the words he chose to use an will continue to be able to manager Chelsea from the sidelines during games as he hopes to get their season back on track.