Jose Mourinho’s treatment of Chelsea’s first-team doctor has been branded “absolutely appalling”, by her Australia cricket counterpart.
Near full-time in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Swansea on the opening weekend of the Premier League season last Saturday saw the champions briefly reduced to nine men when Eden Hazard had to leave the field following treatment by Blues doctor Eva Carneiro and physiotherapist Jon Fearn.
Chelsea manager Mourinho criticised Carneiro afterwards saying she did not “understand the game” in leaving the team with just eight outfield players.
After receiving backing from fans, Carneiro wrote on her Facebook page: “I would like to thank the general public for their overwhelming support. Really very much appreciated.”
Nevertheless the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail newspapers said that while Carneiro would continue in her role as first-team doctor, she would no longer attend games or training sessions or enter the team hotel.
Among those unimpressed by the way in which Carneiro had been treated by Mourinho was Peter Brukner, the doctor with the Australian cricket team touring England who previously head of sports science at Premier League club Liverpool.
“I thought it was appalling behaviour by the manager,” Brukner told talkSPORT radio on Wednesday.
“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 insisted Hazard was merely dealing with tiredness and a knock, but Brukner said that if anyone was at fault it was the player, not the medics.
“Maybe he should be criticising his player for staying down, rather than the medical staff,” Brukner said.
“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.”
Carneiro joined Chelsea in February 2009 and was promoted to the role of first-team doctor and assistant medical director by Andre Villas-Boas, one of Mourinho’s predecessors, in 2011.