Fifa condemn Jose Mourinho's treatment of Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro
Fifa has rebuked Jose Mourinho for his treatment of Chelsea doctor Dr Eva Carneiro and physiotherapist Jon Fearn whose duties at the club have been cut back after being criticized by the manager.
Professor Jiri Dvorak, who is the chief medical officer for world football’s governing body, said that managers have no right to tell their medical staff whether they should go on the pitch to treat a player.
It comes as Mourinho prepares to face the media on Friday, at his weekly press conference, when he will be asked to explain why Carneiro and Fearn have been punished and are not expected to be on the bench for Sunday’s Premier League match away to Manchester City and who will replace them.
Chelsea have already decided who will take on Carneiro and Fearn’s duties but would not confirm, in advance, who it would be but insisted that they will be experienced in dealing with the first-team and match-days.
Carneiro is not the head of Chelsea’s medical department, that is medical director Paco Biosca, she has the title of first-team doctor and assistant medical director, but he will not be going onto the pitch to attend to players.
Following the 2-2 draw at home to Swansea City last Saturday Mourinho suggested that Carneiro and Fearn did not “understand the game” after they attempted to treat Eden Hazard in stoppage time. It has subsequently emerged that not only did referee Michael Oliver twice gesture for the medics to come on but that he had also checked with Hazard whether he wanted to receive treatment.
Mourinho has faced mounting criticism for his public attack and then subsequently reducing the roles of both Carneiro and Fearn. While keeping her title as club doctor, Carneiro is no longer able to attend games, training sessions or enter the team hotel.
It would appear that her position is becoming increasingly untenable which may raise the prospect of Carneiro seeking legal advice and the possibility of action then being taken for constructive dismissal.
The public nature of Mourinho’s criticism will also have caused distress but it is understood that Carneiro has been heartened by the widespread support she has received from her peers and fellow professionals.
Prof Dvorak is one of the most senior figures in football medicine and was clear in his condemnation of Mourinho, without naming him, who also accused his staff of being “naïve”
“In medical aspects, in medical diagnosis, the manager has nothing to say,” Prof Dvorak stated. “This is our professional law and our ethical duty to look after the players’ health.
Asked if the manager could ever tell the medical team not to enter the field of play, Prof Dvorak added: “I can’t see such a situation and we have to defend the position of the doctor.
“Everyone involved has to respect the fact the doctor is in charge. I don’t want to interfere with the club as such, but I would endorse clearly what the team doctor and the physiotherapist did. When they were asked, they had to come on to the pitch.”
His intervention follows on from a strongly-worded stated, released to Telegraph Sport on Wednesday, by the Premier League Doctors Group, which represents all the doctors working in the top-flight and is a powerful trade body, that removing the doctor from the team bench would be "unjust in the extreme" because Carneiro was doing her job properly.
Another influential body, the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine (BASEM), also stepped in and called for a full review of the events at the match. It added that this was "essential to avoid any unnecessary risk to players in the future”.
It added: “Nothing takes precedence over the health and well-being of athletes. And whoever decides a player needs help, medical staff have an absolute obligation to fully assess the athlete until satisfied they are fit to continue participation."
It added that: "all those involved in football have a moral obligation to assist medical staff to the best of their ability to minimise any risk of serious harm to players."
It would appear that Mourinho has had misgivings about employing Carneiro, who he inherited when he returned to Chelsea two years ago, in her role for some time but even if they are justified he has acted irresponsibly.
It would also appear that her punishment followed on from a message she posted on Facebook following the manager’s very public criticism of her and Fearn. It read: “I would like to thank the general public for their overwhelming support. Really very much appreciated.”
Chelsea are refusing to comment on the matter with the club regarding it as an internal employment issue. Nevertheless they know that Mourinho will face questions on Friday and it will be interesting to see the stance he takes.
Neither the Premier League nor the PGMOL, which represents the referee, have issued a statement although the rules are clear that the pair did nothing wrong.