Jose Mourinho’s criticism of his Chelsea medical staff has created “a distraction” away from the team’s performance, according to the boss of the Football Medical Association.
The Portuguese was furious with Blues doctor Eva Carneiro and physio Jon Fearn after both ran onto the pitch during the 2-2 draw with Swansea on August 8 to treat Eden Hazard, who appeared to be injured.
The move briefly left Chelsea down to nine men with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois having earlier been sent off. Mourinho said the pair’s actions were “impulsive and naive” and showed that they did not “understand the game”. They have been excluded from the bench for Sunday’s match at Manchester City, though Mourinho said on Friday that did not mean they would never return.
Mourinho has been accused in some quarters of making the criticism to deflect attention away from his side’s lacklustre start to the season, and FMA chief executive Eamonn Salmon told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme: “Certainly it’s been a distraction I would think. This story’s hit the headlines and has clearly put medicine in the forefront.
“So in some respects, what it does do from our point of view, it highlights the significant roles that the medical staff play and the importance of their roles and puts it high on the agenda.”
Salmon said that Carneiro and Fearn have the FMA’s full support.
As well as having the criticism of Mourinho to contend with, Carneiro is also the subject of a front-page story in The Sun on Sunday concerning her private life, and Salmon added: “I think we would leave it for Eva to contact us if she needed us.
“She knows we’re here, she knows our support network, so if she wishes to get in touch and needed our support then we’re here to help her for sure.
“I’ve been in touch with Jon. He ran on first and has been very much in our minds as well (as Carneiro) as part of this whole episode.
“He knows that we’re here, he knows we’re offering support and that’s the nature of our association – we’re here to support our members and that’s what we’re doing.
“Our statement last week was considered, it was appropriate and it really related to the actual event at the game.”
Salmon had said in a statement last Tuesday: ”We fully support the actions of our members and colleagues in this incident who acted with integrity and professionalism at all times, fully cognisant of the rules of the game and in full accordance with that duty of care to their patient.
”Factors extraneous to the immediate medical needs of the patient, such as the stage and state of the game, cannot be part of their consideration at such time.”