LONDON: Jiri Dvorak, FIFA’s chief medical officer, has lined up alongside critics of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in the row over his demotion of club doctor Eva Carneiro writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Mourinho raged at Carneiro and then dropped both her and physio Jon Fearn from matchday duties after they obeyed an instruction from referee Michael Oliver to attend to the injured Eden Hazard in the closing minutes of last Saturday’s 2-2 home draw against Swansea on the Premier League’s opening day.
Chelsea’s manager was angry that direct attention to the player meant him having to leave the pitch briefly at a time when they were down to 10 men already after the earlier expulsion of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Mourinho’s insistence on match management coming before player’s health has been roundly condemned by a number of medical bodies including the one representing Premier League club doctors.
The criticism was supported by Dvorak, one of the most senior figures in sports medicine.
He said: “In medical aspects, in medical diagnosis, the manager has nothing to say. This is our professional law and our ethical duty to look after the players’ health.
“Everyone involved has to respect the fact the doctor is in charge. I don’t want to interfere with the club as such but I would endorse clearly what the team doctor and the physiotherapist did. When they were asked, they had to come on to the pitch.”
The British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine echoed Dvorak’s comments, saying: ““Nothing takes precedence over the health and well-being of athletes and whoever decides a player needs help, medical staff have an absolute obligation to fully assess the athlete until satisfied they are fit to continue participation.”
Chelsea are understood to have been unhappy that Carneiro expressed thanks, via social media, to notes of support.
# # # #