More woe for Mourinho as Eva Carneiro to take Chelsea to court
Chelsea were last night in imminent danger of being taken to court by Eva Carneiro over Jose Mourinho’s banishing of her as the first-team doctor at Chelsea.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Carneiro and the Premier League champions have failed to agree a severance package following her departure last month.
This means that, barring a last-minute deal, her only recourse is to lodge a constructive dismissal claim at an employment tribunal, something that could lead to Chelsea being pursued for hundreds of thousands of pounds. The deadline for submitting such a claim is next week, with the law allowing complainants a three-month window.
Carneiro has not reported for work since she and physio Jon Fearn were banished from the bench by Mourinho for treating Eden Hazard during Chelsea’s opening-day draw with Swansea City on Aug 8. She finally conceded defeat in her battle to resume her Stamford Bridge career last month and entered negotiations designed to stave off any formal legal action.
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A tribunal could see her seek compensation not just for loss of earnings but for Mourinho’s alleged verbal abuse of her during the Swansea game and his subsequent critical comments about her and Fearn.
Following more than one complaint to the Football Association, the Chelsea manager was cleared of sexist abuse on Sept 30, having strenuously denied any wrongdoing. The verdict led to Carneiro, 42, breaking her silence in a 188-word statement in which she drew comparisons between the outcome of the case and the FA’s refusal to act over “vile, unacceptable, sexually explicit abuse” she alleged that she endured at a game at West Ham United last season.
The Telegraph reports that Carneiro has been in Qatar this week at the Aspetar sports medicine hospital, regarded by some as the best facility of its kind in the Middle East. She was expected back in the UK ahead of the crucial three‑month deadline that will shape her future.
The timing of any legal action could hardly be worse for Chelsea and Mourinho, who has lurched from one crisis to another since the Carneiro controversy first erupted. Both the club and their manager have faced widespread criticism over their handling of the affair.
Carneiro, meanwhile, received the full backing of every major governing body over her own actions, having followed to the letter the rules that govern both doctors and the treatment of footballing injuries.
As revealed exclusively by the Telegraph, the controversy has led to Fifa considering introducing new regulations banning managers from interfering in medical matters and punishing those who do. Such a rule change could be discussed by the FA if the world governing body does not act decisively.
The Carneiro case may also force the FA to examine the process by which it conducts investigations, having been condemned by one of its own board members, Heather Rabbatts, for not interviewing the doctor when examining the complaints against Mourinho.
It emerged on Tuesday that the FA chief executive, Martin Glenn, and the director of governance, Darren Bailey, are to be quizzed next month on their handling of allegations of discrimination – including those made against the Portuguese.
Members of the FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, which is chaired by Rabbatts and includes the former Chelsea stars Graeme Le Saux and Paul Elliott, wrote a joint-letter to the chairman, Greg Dyke, and all FA councillors expressing “deep concerns” about a number of cases.
Others include that launched against former Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan, who was banned for six weeks for comments he made about Jewish and Chinese people, and the decision to take no disciplinary action against the former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay over alleged racist and sexist texts he sent to a colleague.
The IAB also hit out at an FA investigation into whether Rabbatts breached its code of conduct by speaking out against its Carneiro inquiry. That was widely reported to have been triggered following requests by two FA councillors, one of whom, the Oxford University FA chairman Richard Tur, last night denied having asked for such a probe.
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