If Jose Mourinho thought he could get away with insulting the entire medical community of football, he was wrong.
The ongoing saga between Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and club doctor Eva Carneiro gained another wrinkle as the Special One drew the ire of an important group of footballers.
According to the Telegraph, the Premier League Doctors’ Group has publicly condemned Mourinho for scathing comments made about Carneiro and other members of the Chelsea medical staff during the club’s 2-2 draw with Swansea City.
The Doctors’ Group accused Mourinho of “putting results ahead of the welfare of the players” and called Mourinho’s decision to ban Carneiro from the pitch and change the role of physiotherapist Jon Fearn “unjust.”
During the match against Swansea, midfielder Eden Hazard went down with an apparent injury which prompted Carneiro to rush to the field to treat the Belgian superstar. But Mourinho, who admitted his concern that Hazard’s absence would leave the team with too few players at a critical juncture of the match, became visibly angry and yelled at Carneiro from the sidelines.
The Telegraph noted, however, that video footage revealed that referee Michael Oliver twice turned to the bench after Hazard went down and signaled for the doctors to come and assist.
The full statement released by Premier League Doctors’ Group chairman and West Bromwich Albion director of performance Mark Gillett reads as follows:
“Doctors working for Premier League teams and attending matches in a professional capacity are bound by the same professional and ethical boundaries as any other doctor practicing in the United Kingdom.
“The General Medical Council issue clear guidelines on good medical practice that need to be met in order for a doctor to maintain a licence to practice and satisfy the criteria for professional revalidation every five years. Maintenance of the duty of care from the doctor to the patient is fundamental to these guidelines, even when the patient is a footballer playing in a Premier League game.
“The Premier League Doctor’s Group considers that removing Dr Eva Carneiro from the Chelsea team bench for their next match is unjust in the extreme. In the publicised incident in last Saturday’s game against Swansea, the Chelsea medical staff were clearly summoned on to the field of play by the match referee to attend to a player. A refusal to run onto the pitch would have breached the duty of care required of the medical team to their patient.
“It is a huge concern that Dr Carneiro has been subjected to unprecedented media scrutiny and a change in her professional role, merely because she adhered to her code of professional conduct and did her job properly.
“Dr Carneiro has universal and total support from her medical colleagues at the Premier League Doctors Group. It is also of great concern that at a time when the both the Premier League and the Premier League Doctors group are intensifying efforts to safeguard player welfare, the precedent set by this incident demonstrates that the medical care of players appears to be secondary to the result of the game.
“Much progress has been made in the provision of pitch side medical care for Premier League players over the last 10 years. This incident highlights that there is more work to be done, with a pressing need to further establish and highlight the explicit role of a Premier League doctor with our colleagues at the LMA and PFA.”