Wednesday 11 December 2019

Chelsea face dilemma over Eva Carneiro claim

Jose Mourinho and club likely to come under more pressure to reach settlement at private hearing with a High Court judge next month

Eva Carneiro
Eva Carneiro

Chelsea and Jose Mourinho could face the prospect of full public disclosure surrounding Eva Carneiro's departure from the club unless they reach a private settlement.

According to The Times, a High Court judge will hold a private hearing into Carneiro's constructive dismissal case on March 7. The judge will have the power to recommend both parties reaching a settlement rather than have the case reach an employment tribunal in June.

That tribunal would see all witness statements - including those from Carneiro and Mourinho - made public, with potentially embarrassing results for the former Chelsea manager and the club.

Chelsea, who have not commented on the circumstances surrounding Carneiro's departure, have lodged a defence in the case but would have to decide whether to pursue it in the courts, or opt for a settlement that would spare them - and Mourinho - the disclosure of witness statements.

Carneiro left her position at Chelsea after she was given a public dressing-down by Mourinho for going on to the field, along with fellow club doctor Jon Fearn, to treat Eden Hazard in a match against Swansea on the opening weekend of the season.

At the time, Mourinho said: “I wasn't happy with my medical staff because even if you are a medical doctor or secretary on the bench, you have to understand the game.

“If you go to the pitch to assist a player, then you must be sure that a player has a serious problem. I was sure that Eden didn't have a serious problem. He had a knock and was very tired.

“My medical department left me with eight fit outfield players in a counter attack after a set piece and we were worried we didn't have enough players left.”

Carneiro is understood to have further angered Mourinho when in the immediate aftermath of the incident, she took to Facebook to express her thanks for the “overwhelming support” she received.

Mourinho, who has since been sacked, was cleared of the accusation - made by a member of the public - that he had shouted sexist abuse at Carneiro by the Football Association, although the doctor was angry with the FA for not interviewing her.

She said: "I was surprised to learn that the FA was allegedly investigating the incident of 8th of August via the press.

"I was at no stage requested by the FA to make a statement. I wonder whether this might be the only formal investigation in this country where the evidence of the individuals involved in the incident was not considered relevant.

"Choosing to ignore some of the evidence will surely influence the outcome of the findings.

"Last season I had a similar experience at a game at West Ham FC, where I was subject to verbal abuse. Following complaints by the public, the FA produced a communication to the press saying there had been no sexist chanting during this game.

"At no time was I approached for a statement despite the fact that vile, unacceptable, sexually explicit abuse was clearly heard.

"It is incidents such as these and the lack of support from the football authorities that make it so difficult for women in the game."

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