Friday 19 January 2018

Eva Carneiro handed Fifa boost in legal battle with Chelsea and Jose Mourinho

Former Chelsea Football Club doctor Eva Carneiro
Former Chelsea Football Club doctor Eva Carneiro

Ben Rumsby

Eva Carneiro was poised to be handed a new weapon in her legal battle with Chelsea and Jose Mourinho on Saturday night as Fifa prepared to outlaw managers interfering in medical matters.

The chairman of the governing body’s medical committee, Michel D’Hooghe, on Saturday confirmed new rules on the treatment of players were on the agenda for its meeting on Sunday, and they could be ratified by the end of the week.

That would allow the football authorities to take disciplinary action in future against managers who attempt to stop team doctors or physiotherapists performing their duties.

The change could provide a boost to Carneiro’s constructive dismissal and sex discrimination claim against Chelsea and Mourinho, which last week saw the parties fail to agree a settlement at an employment tribunal in London. Carneiro is suing the club and their former manager, who banished her from the bench after she treated Eden Hazard against Swansea City on the opening day of the Premier League season.

Although Mourinho did not prevent her entering the field of play, his scathing criticism of her after the game and demotion of her from her role with the first team gave the impression she had been in the wrong.

Carneiro was subsequently exonerated by every relevant footballing and medical authority, including qualified doctor D’Hooghe, who exclusively revealed in the Daily Telegraph in September that he would look at introducing a code of ethics governing the treatment of players. Confirming that he would present his proposals to the medical committee on Sunday, he said: “It is clear that when a player is injured on the field, there is only one person who can judge if he needs treatment – and that is the doctor.”

Asked whether anyone interfering in that process would face disciplinary action in future, he replied: “A rule without sanction is not a rule.”

The medical committee is expected to agree a series of recommendations on Sunday that would then need to be ratified on Thursday and Friday at a meeting of Fifa’s executive committee.

Carneiro made her second appearance at Croydon’s London South Employment Tribunal last Monday to discuss a possible settlement over her departure from Chelsea.

Mourinho, who was cleared by the Football Association of using sexist language towards Carneiro, did not attend. A public hearing will take place on June 6 if no settlement is reached before then.

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