PFA chief Gordon Taylor says players’ health should not be put at risk if team doctors feel any reluctance to go on the field in the wake of Eva Carneiro’s departure from Chelsea.
Caneiro is understood to have parted company with Chelsea following the incident on the opening day of the season when she was criticised by manager Jose Mourinho for going on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard. It is likely that she will launch legal action claiming constructive dismissal.
The English Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Taylor said the system - where referees and players judge whether to call doctors onto the pitch – worked well. Mourinho was unhappy with Carneiro because it meant Hazard had to leave the field and Chelsea were temporarily down to nine men. As a result she was dropped from first team duties.
Taylor said: “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 board member Heather Rabbatts, the chair of the FA’s inclusion advisory board, has expressed her “anger and sadness” at news of Carneiro’s departure from the club.
The incident against Swansea saw head physiotherapist Jon Fearn also go onto the pitch and Mourinho said at the time: “I was unhappy with my medical staff. They were impulsive and naive.
“Whether you are a kit man, doctor or secretary on the bench you have to understand the game.”
Chelsea said they could not comment on internal staffing matters.