Jose Mourinho’s behaviour ‘absolutely appalling’
Leading sports physician Peter Brukner says Chelsea medical staff owed an apology
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho gestures to first-team doctor Eva Carneiro as Victor Moses is substituted during the Chelsea v Fiorentina pre-season friendly at Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic
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.
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, Carneiro’s role at Chelsea has been changed 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.
“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 on the issue, a club spokesman said: “We do not comment on internal staffing matters.”