Jose Mourinho has come under fire from several quarters for his treatment of Chelsea’s club doctor Eva Carneiro after it emerged that she will no longer sit on Chelsea’s bench during games.
The Daily Telegraph revealed earlier in the week that Carneiro will continue to treat Chelsea’s first team players at Cobham training ground, but will no longer attend the club’s matches or training sessions
This has all come about since Carneiro ran on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard during Chelsea’s game against Swansea on the opening day of the season at Stamford Bridge. Premier League rules say that a player who receives treatment must leave the pitch and Chelsea were already down to 10 men after their goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, was sent off for a tackle on Bafetimbi Gomis after 53 minutes of the match.
Mourinho called his medical staff “impulsive” and “naïve” for running on to the pitch to treat Hazard, despite the fact that referee Michael Oliver had called for them twice before Carneiro ran on to deal with the situation. Mourinho said, “Whether you are a kit man, doctor or secretary on the bench you have to understand the game”. FIFA’s own instruction on the matter states, “Referees must follow the instructions below when dealing with injured players: As soon as the referee has authorised the doctors to enter the field of play, the player must leave the field of play, either on a stretcher or on foot. If a player does not comply, he shall be cautioned for unsporting behaviour”. That means that it is, in fact, Mourinho who does not understand the game.
The treatment of Carneiro by the Chelsea manager has led to criticism of his behaviour from numerous sources, including The Premier League Doctor’s Group who said, “[We] consider… that removing Dr Eva Carneiro from the Chelsea team bench for their next match is unjust in the extreme. In the publicised incident in last Saturday’s game against Swansea, the Chelsea medical staff were clearly summoned on to the field of play by the match referee to attend to a player. A refusal to run onto the pitch would have breached the duty of care required of the medical team to their patient”.
The PLDG statement continued, “It is a huge concern that Dr Carneiro has been subjected to unprecedented media scrutiny and a change in her professional role, merely because she adhered to her code of professional conduct and did her job properly. Dr. Carneiro has universal and total support from her medical colleagues at the Premier League Doctors Group. It is also of great concern that at a time when the both the Premier League and the Premier League Doctors group are intensifying efforts to safeguard player welfare, the precedent set by this incident demonstrates that the medical care of players appears to be secondary to the result of the game”.
Meanwhile Liverpool’s former Head of Medicine, Dr. Peter Brukner, told BBC Radio 5 live that Mourinho’s criticism of Carneiro was “100%” and that he should publicly apologise. Brukner is now the Australian Cricket Team’s doctor and said, “It’s got nothing to do with the manager. You don’t have doctors telling a manager to play someone up front or play 4-3-3. The doctor was 100% correct and the manager, in my opinion, was 100% wrong. He should apologise and the club should ensure that the doctor and physio are not demoted as a result of this.
“She has been publicly humiliated in front of the biggest audience there is and she had not done the wrong thing”.
Ralph Rodgers, the Chelsea first team doctor under Carlo Ancelotti, has said that Carneiro was wrong to put a post on social media about the incident, though, and that it represented a “slap in the face” of Jose Mourinho and something that would make things “difficult” for him to trust her again. Carneiro made a somewhat innocuous post on Facebook when she said, “I would like to thank the general public for their overwhelming support. Really very much appreciated”.
<Rodgers, however, felt that the statement was not ethical, saying, “You are support staff. You’re not one of the stars. There’s almost a slap in the face to the manager. Why would she go to social media? It’s something we, as a profession, ethically should not be doing”.
Mourinho is expected to be questioned about the matter in his press conference ahead of Chelsea’s visit to The Etihad Stadium on Sunday, meaning that the matter isn’t likely to die away any time soon.