Chelsea doctor row Q&A
Published 14/08/2015 | 14:18
Jose Mourinho has spoken publicly for the first time since his criticism of Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro, confirming she and colleague Jon Fearn will not be on the bench for Sunday's trip to Manchester City.
The Portuguese was unhappy that the pair went onto the pitch to treat Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard late in last Saturday's 2-2 draw with Swansea, and although he did not back down he did say that their exclusion from the bench was not necessarily permanent.
Here Press Association Sport looks at what is really going on in the row which has dominated the sporting week.
So, uhm, what's up, doc?
Chelsea, down to 10 men after the dismissal of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, were left hanging on for a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea last Saturday. Hazard went down injured late on, prompting Carneiro and Fearn to enter the pitch and treat him. But that left Mourinho fuming on the touchline as he gestured frantically and shouted angrily. After the match, Mourinho accused the doctors of being naive regarding the game situation as their treatment of Hazard meant the player had to come off the pitch, leaving Chelsea temporarily with nine players.
That seems a bit harsh. Did the doctors do anything wrong?
According to the Premier League Doctors' Group, Carneiro and Fearn had no option but to enter the pitch and treat Hazard - and would have been in breach of their duty of care if they had failed to do so. Under existing guidelines, a player can request treatment, or the referee can decide to call for it if he believes the player needs it. Referee Michael Oliver signalled for the doctors to come on as Hazard remained down, which would seem to make it an open-and-shut case - the doctors did everything right.
Does Jose even have a point, then?
Mourinho has received some limited support from former managers and players, who said they at least understood his frustration as events occurred in real time. But his decision to make an issue of it in his post-match comments, and the apparent reduction of Carneiro's role in the wake of the incident, has created a huge storm in which Chelsea are not looking too good.
Shouldn't Mourinho have been more concerned about Hazard?
It's not clear to what extent he was injured. We're not going to say he was definitely trying to waste time by staying down, but, let's be honest, it wouldn't be the first time a player has done that. If Mourinho was worried about needlessly being reduced to nine, we might ask why he has not criticised his star player for staying down and requesting treatment if he did not really require it. And if Hazard did need treatment, the player might be left wondering why his manager didn't seem to care.
What else might this be about?
Mourinho has rarely been short of a scapegoat when one is required. Whether it be 'media campaigns', dodgy floodlights, other teams gifting his rivals results (see Sporting Gijon v Barcelona, 2012) or the always reliable complaints about referees, Mourinho is a master at deflecting attention from a poor performance from his side. This might be taking things a bit far, but one thing that has barely been discussed since Saturday is Chelsea dropping points at home.
What happens next?
Carneiro and Fearn will be absent from the bench this Sunday. All eyes will be on what happens the next time a Chelsea player goes down apparently injured and how the medical staff on the bench respond, and each time Mourinho faces the media he can expect questions on when Carneiro and Fearn are going to return.