Manchester United urged to force Jose Mourinho to make public apology to Eva Caneiro
Manchester United have been urged to force their new manager, Jose Mourinho, to make a public apology to Eva Carniero after her claim for constructive dismissal and sex discrimination was settled yesterday out of court.
Lord Chris Holmes, who is also a Commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, believes that United have a duty to ensure that Mourinho now goes beyond a carefully-worded statement yesterday that frames the apology from Chelsea.
Carneiro, who gave up a yearly salary of around £280,000 by leaving Chelsea, had claimed that Mourinho not only called her a “daughter of a whore” when she ran on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard against Swansea City last August, but had subsequently suggested she work with the club’s ladies’ team.
She also alleged she had been the victim of “regular sexually explicit comments from colleagues”, as well as “sexually explicit chanting” at matches.
The specific allegations were not addressed after Chelsea issued an apology to Carneiro and dramatically agreed a pay-off with their former first-team doctor just moments before she was due to testify against them in a courtroom.
Mourinho was quoted in the statement as thanking Carneiro for “her excellent and dedicated support” but there was no personal apology and he has since begun work as the new Manchester United manager.
“Given his place in the public eye and the message it sends, Jose Mourinho should personally apologise to show recognition and understanding of the distress caused to Dr Carneiro,” said Lord Holmes, who is a Conservative peer and six-time Paralympic swimming gold medallist.
“Manchester United should ensure he does this as it will send an important message to millions of Manchester United and football fans around the world. Football has many thousands of female fans and players and must rediscover its moral compass and show it is a sport for everyone.”
Mourinho and senior Chelsea officials arrived at Croydon’s London South Employment Tribunal on Tuesday and brought an abrupt end to Carneiro’s claim.
As well as a payout likely to have exceeded the £1.2 million open offer earlier rejected by Carneiro – who was pursuing “whole career loss” that might have been as much as £5m – the 42-year-old also received the apology from Chelsea that she had been demanding.
Mourinho, however, avoided the prospect of being questioned for two days next week by Carneiro’s barrister.
Chelsea did finally acknowledge that Carneiro had done nothing wrong during the central incident, last August, in which she ran on to the pitch to treat Hazard on the opening day of the Premier League season. She was subsequently demoted and left the club.