Tuesday 12 November 2019

Former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro finally breaks her silence over Jose Mourinho row

Eva Carneiro exited her post at Chelsea in late September
Eva Carneiro exited her post at Chelsea in late September
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro has broken her silence to insist she was never requested by the Football Association to make a statement about its investigation into alleged remarks made to her by Jose Mourinho during this season's game against Swansea.

Carneiro also said the FA did not ask her for a statement after being the victim of sexist abuse at West Ham last season and criticised the lack of support from the football authorities.

In a statement to Press Association Sport 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."

Carneiro was dropped from first-team duties after Chelsea manager Mourinho criticised her for going onto the pitch to treat Eden Hazard during the opening match of the season against Swansea. She has since parted company with the club.

Mourinho was cleared by the FA of making discriminatory remarks but independent board member Heather Rabbatts criticised the FA for not interviewing Carneiro herself.

Carneiro's statement added: "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."

She also thanked Rabbatts for speaking up for her.

"I admire what Heather Rabbatts has done and thank her and friends and colleagues who have supported me at this very difficult time," she said.

The FA's position is that its regulatory team asked Carneiro's lawyers if she wished to provide any evidence.

However she says no request was made to speak to her - and she was still formally employed by Chelsea at the time.

Rabbatts, head of the FA's inclusion advisory board, said she had "major concerns" regarding the FA's disciplinary process which saw Mourinho cleared, and that the FA's handling of the case was "seriously disappointing".

FA chairman Greg Dyke did criticise Mourinho's handling of the incident however. In a letter to FA council members, a copy of which has been obtained by Press Association Sport, he said Mourinho committed "a failure of his personal judgement and public behaviour".

Dyke says in the letter: "Personally I don't think Mr Mourinho comes well out of the whole saga - he clearly made a mistake in the heat of a game, and should have said so and apologised.

"Instead he has said very little and Miss Carneiro has lost her job.

"Our regulatory team have investigated this and whilst Mr Mourinho has breached no rules it was clearly a failure of his personal judgement and public behaviour. This should be seen as such by the game."

Mourinho was asked about the Carneiro case three times at his weekly press conference but refused to comment on the controversy.

He said: "For the past two months I didn't open my mouth and I'm going to keep it like this. One day I will speak and I will choose a day.

"I'm quiet about it for a long time. I read and I listen and I watch and I'm quiet. My time to speak will arrive when I decide."

The FA said in response to Carneiro's statement: "We have never received any information or complaint from Dr Carneiro.

"Including in written correspondence with her lawyers, it has been made explicitly clear that if Dr Carneiro had evidence to provide or wished to make a complaint she was more than welcome to do so. That route remains open."

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