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Thursday 12 December 2019

No apology from Mourinho as Chelsea settle with ex-team doctor Eva Carneiro

Eva Carneiro has reached a settlement with Chelsea
Eva Carneiro has reached a settlement with Chelsea

Chelsea Football Club has apologised "unreservedly" to ex-first team doctor Eva Carneiro as it reached a settlement with her over constructive dismissal claims, but Jose Mourinho failed to follow the club's lead, instead thanking her for her services.

Dr Carneiro brought the claim at an employment tribunal, accusing Mourinho of victimisation and discrimination.

She was due to begin giving evidence on Tuesday but a settlement was agreed after Mourinho made a surprise appearance at the hearing at the London South Employment Tribunal centre in Croydon.

Addressing the tribunal, Daniel Stilitz QC, for Chelsea and Mourinho, said: "We are pleased to be able to tell the tribunal that the parties agreed a settlement on confidential terms."

Chelsea said in a statement: "The club regrets the circumstances which led to Dr Carneiro leaving the club and apologises unreservedly to her and her family for the distress caused.

"We wish to place on record that in running on to the pitch Dr Carneiro was following both the rules of the game and fulfilling her responsibility to the players as a doctor, putting their safety first.

"Dr Carneiro has always put the interests of the club's players first. Dr Carneiro is a highly competent and professional sports doctor. She was a valued member of the club's medical team and we wish her every success in her future career."

It added: "Jose Mourinho also thanks Dr Carneiro for the excellent and dedicated support she provided as first team doctor and he wishes her a successful career."

Mourinho remained tight-lipped as he left. He was escorted by security guards through crowds of the media as well as excited schoolchildren chanting "Jose, Jose".

He was bundled into a waiting black BMW and refused to answer when asked: "Are you sorry? Why didn't you apologise?"

In a statement Dr Carneiro said she was "relieved" the tribunal had ended, adding that it had been "an extremely difficult and distressing time" for her and her family.

She said her priority had always been the health and safety of the players.

The case was expected to last seven to 10 days and could have led to potentially embarrassing witness statements and documents - including texts and emails - being made public.

On Monday, it was revealed that Dr Carneiro had refused £1.2 million to settle her claims with Mourinho and Chelsea before the hearing on Monday. Details of the final deal between the parties were not released.

Also in attendance were Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, chairman Bruce Buck, head physio Jason Palmer, and head of communications and PR, Steve Atkins.

Dr Carneiro had alleged she was sexually discriminated against after she went on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard during the opening day of the Premier League season last August.

She claimed that, as she ran on to the pitch during the game with Swansea, Mourinho shouted "filha da puta" at her.

In a statement to the tribunal, Mourinho conceded that he used the term "filho da puta", meaning "son of a whore", but insisted 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."

He added that Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas had 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."

Mary O'Rourke QC, representing Dr Carneiro, said: "He uses the word 'filha' because he is abusing a woman."

A spokesman for the Football Medical Association said: "We are pleased to see a resolution of what has been a lengthy and protracted case involving Dr Carneiro.

"Dr Carneiro has now been completely exonerated by Chelsea Football Club with this unreserved apology. Importantly, Chelsea Football Club has also put on record that in running onto the pitch,'Dr Carneiro was following both the rules of the game and fulfilling her responsibility to the players as a doctor'.

"This is an important message for all football clubs stating clearly that the responsibility of the medical team is, first and foremost, for the safety and wellbeing of the players.

"This settlement will now enable Dr Carneiro to put events of the past year behind and look forward to resuming her medical career."

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