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Mourinho criticised over doctor

Published 12/08/2015

Chelsea first-team doctor Eva Carneiro's future looks uncertain
Chelsea first-team doctor Eva Carneiro's future looks uncertain
Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro was criticised by Jose Mourinho for attempting to treat Eden Hazard
Chelsea physio Eva Carneiro during the Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul White)

Jose Mourinho's behaviour towards Chelsea first-team doctor Eva Carneiro has been "absolutely appalling", according to leading sports physician Peter Brukner.

Towards the end of Saturday's stuttering 2-2 draw at home to Swansea, the reigning champions were temporarily reduced to nine men as Eden Hazard had to leave the field following treatment.

I would like to thank the general public for their overwhelming support. Really very much appreciated.

Posted by Eva Carneiro on Sunday, 9 August 2015

Chelsea boss Mourinho was visibly infuriated to see physio Jon Fearn and doctor Carneiro run on to the field to give him that treatment, telling the media afterwards that their "impulsive and naive" decision showed they did not "understand the game".

Since then, Press Association Sport has learned Carneiro's role at Chelsea is changing significantly, meaning she will no longer be involved in matches and training sessions.

That seeming demotion understandably raises questions over her long-term future and Brukner, formerly Liverpool's head of sports medicine and sports science, believes Mourinho owes his medical staff an apology.

"I thought it was appalling behaviour by the manager," the Australia cricket team doctor said.

"He has a player who has gone down, who has remained down and the referee obviously considered it serious enough to summon on the doctor and the physio.

"They went on as they must do when they are summoned on and the player is down, and as a result the player had to come off the ground.

"What do you expect the doctor to do? Just ignore the referee beckoning them on?"

Mourinho said Hazard was merely dealing with tiredness and a knock, but Brukner defended the medics' decision to enter the field of play.

"Maybe he should be criticising his player for staying down, rather than the medical staff," he told talkSPORT.

"The medical staff were only responding to the referee's instruction to come and treat the player, who was on the ground.

"So then to criticise the medical staff publicly in the way that he did was absolutely appalling behaviour.

"The medical staff deserve a public apology and I'm very disappointed that the club hasn't come out and done something to support them - they were just doing their job.

"Our first priority as doctors and physios is the health and safety of the individual player, and that's what they were attending to.

"They were doing their job and they've been criticised very publicly for doing the job. I think that's a very disappointing result."

Carneiro joined Chelsea in February 2009, having previously worked at the British Olympic Medical Institute and with England Women's Football and UK Athletics.

The doctor thanked people for their support on Sunday, posting on Facebook: "I would like to thank the general public for their overwhelming support. Really very much appreciated."

That status attracted in excess of 22,000 likes and on Tuesday it emerged Carneiro's role was changing, albeit while keeping the title as Chelsea's first-team doctor.

When approached by Press Association Sport on the issue, a club spokesman said: "We do not comment on internal staffing matters."

Football Medical Association chief executive Eamonn Salmon said: "We fully support the actions of our members and colleagues in this incident who acted with integrity and professionalism at all times, fully cognisant of the rules of the game and in full accordance with that duty of care to their patient.

"Factors extraneous to the immediate medical needs of the patient, such as the stage and state of the game, cannot be part of their consideration at such time."

The Professional Footballers' Association said in a statement on its website: "The health and safety of our members is of paramount importance and the need, when required, for prompt assessment and treatment is critical in ensuring this.

"The player and the referee are the initial judges as to whether treatment is required and, the matter is then the responsibility of the highly qualified and trained medical staff.

"This protocol has worked successfully in past seasons and we can see no justifiable reason to move away from this."

Football Association director Kelly Simmons, who played 117 times for England, hopes there is no adverse effect on women's participation in football because of the row.

"That's obviously an issue for Chelsea," when asked about the issue.

"I'm not close to it and I've only seen headlines in the newspapers but what I would say is we want to see more women in all roles in football so hopefully what's happened in the last 48 hours won't put off young women wanting to work in what is a fantastic industry."

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