Sport Soccer

Monday 9 December 2019

Jose Mourinho to be cross-examined for a day during Eva Carneiro employment tribunal

Former Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro, second left, at Croydon Employment Tribunal
Former Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro, second left, at Croydon Employment Tribunal

Matt McGeehan

Jose Mourinho is expected to give evidence at an employment tribunal brought by former Chelsea first-team doctor Eva Carneiro.

Dr Carneiro is claiming constructive dismissal against Chelsea and has a separate, but connected, personal legal action against Mourinho, who left the club in December, for alleged victimisation and discrimination.

The case, which is anticipated to be heard over seven to 10 days, is not expected to begin hearing evidence from the 42-year-old doctor until Tuesday afternoon.

The tribunal heard that Dr Carneiro is expected to be questioned over two and a half days.

And Mary O'Rourke QC, for the claimant, told the hearing she is likely to take at least a day to cross-examine Mourinho, who did not attend the first day of the case.

When asked if "re-engagement" was sought, Ms O'Rourke said "No".

Also present during the hearing was Chelsea's head of communications and PR, Steve Atkins.

Preliminary matters in the case were dealt with on Monday morning, after the parties failed to agree a settlement which would have prevented a public hearing.

Dr Carneiro arrived at the London South Employment Tribunal in Croydon in a powder blue coat and and cream dress, holding hands with her husband, polar explorer Jason De Carteret.

She was criticised by Mourinho and dropped from first-team duties after she went on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard during a draw with Swansea on the opening day of the Premier League season last August.

Dr Carneiro was dropped as Chelsea's first-team doctor last year after then-manager Mourinho angrily berated her and physio Jon Fearn for going on to the pitch.

Their action meant that Chelsea were temporarily down to nine men, and afterwards Mourinho called Dr Carneiro and Mr Fearn "impulsive and naive".

Dr Carneiro did not appear on the bench again for first-team duties and later parted company with the club.

Chelsea filed their defence in the tribunal hearing last December and another private preliminary hearing was held in January.

The panel was read an extract from Mourinho's statement in which he concedes that he used the Portuguese term "filho da puta", meaning "son of of a bitch or whore", but that he had been using it throughout the match.

He said: "Filho da puta is a phrase I often use, all of the players know it. There is no sexist connotation in the use of the phrase - it is just like saying 'f*** off'.

"In the world of football, a lot of swear words are used."

Referring to footage of earlier on in the August 8 match against Swansea, the former Chelsea manager highlighted that he had also been using the term then.

He added that Cesc Fabregas had also used the Spanish equivalent of the term when a Chelsea player was fouled during the game.

In his statement, Mourinho said: "Cesc and I both speak English well, but in the heat of the game we both swear in our mother language.

"Eva was not on the pitch at that point in time."

However, Dr Carneiro alleges that Mourinho used the term "Filha da puta", meaning "daughter of a bitch or whore".

Ms O'Rourke said: "He uses the word 'filha' because he is abusing a woman."

She added that Dr Carneiro heard the term "clearly from behind her" as she ran on to the pitch.

The tribunal was adjourned until 2pm on Tuesday so the panel could read the documents in the case.

A skeleton argument submitted to the tribunal on behalf of Chelsea FC and Mourinho stated that Dr Carneiro had been "made an open offer of £1.2 million to settle her claims".

It continued: "The respondents have taken these steps only because they believe that it is in no-one's interests that this dispute should be determined through litigation.

"They are conscious that, whatever the facts of the matter, it is likely to be widely and incorrectly assumed that they could have avoided this coming tribunal."

It continued that contemporaneous documents showed that Dr Carneiro did not consider Mourinho's actions to be discriminatory.

The skeleton argument said: "The purpose of the discrimination claim was to lift the statutory cap, in order to justify the claimant's extravagant compensation claim."

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