Doctor settles Chelsea dismissal case

7 Jun


Dr Eva CarneiroImage copyright
PA

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Dr Carneiro said her priority has always been the health and safety of the players

Former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro has settled her dismissal claim against the club on confidential terms.

Dr Carneiro, who claimed constructive dismissal against Chelsea, also reached a discrimination settlement against the club’s former manager Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea said it apologised “unreservedly” to the former first team doctor for the distress caused.

On Monday it emerged Chelsea had offered Dr Carneiro £1.2m to settle her claims, which she had rejected.

Media captionChaos outside Chelsea tribunal as Jose Mourinho leaves

In a statement, Dr Carneiro said: “I am relieved that today we have been able to conclude this tribunal case. It has been an extremely difficult and distressing time for me and my family and I now look forward to moving forward with my life.

“My priority has always been the health and safety of the players and fulfilling my duty of care as a doctor.”

Addressing the London South Employment Tribunal centre in Croydon, Daniel Stilitz QC, for Chelsea and Mr Mourinho, said: “We are pleased to be able to tell the tribunal that the parties agreed a settlement on confidential terms.”

Image copyright
Getty Images

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Jon Fearn and Eva Carneiro were criticised by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho after the draw with Swansea

Dr Carneiro claimed she was sexually discriminated against after she went on to the pitch to treat Chelsea player Eden Hazard during the opening day of the Premier League season last August.

She claimed that Mr Mourinho shouted the Portuguese phrase “filha da puta” at her, which means “daughter of a whore”, as she ran on to the pitch.

Hazard had to leave the pitch, briefly leaving the team with only nine men at what Mr Mourinho claimed was a crucial stage in the game.

Chelsea went on to draw 2-2 with Swansea and Mr Mourinho publicly criticised both Dr Carneiro and first team physio Jon Fearn for being “impulsive and naive”.

Dr Carneiro left the club in September after being demoted.


Women in Football reaction

A spokesman for Women in Football said: “Women in Football are delighted that Eva’s name has been rightly cleared and her professional reputation as a doctor upheld.

“Eva has been courageous in her fight for a public apology from Chelsea and acknowledgement that on the day in question she was simply doing her job.

“We completely deplore and condemn her treatment by the club since and welcome their unreserved apology.

“We believe that every female employee in the football industry has the right to go about their working lives without being targeted for or subjected to discriminatory abuse.

“We hope that by working with football authorities and clubs we can bring about a greater understanding of the barriers in the industry that women routinely face and that more women will follow Eva’s example by standing up for equality.”


Chelsea said in a statement: “The club regrets the circumstances which led to Dr Carneiro leaving the club and apologises unreservedly to her and her family for the distress caused.

“We wish to place on record that in running onto the pitch Dr Carneiro was following both the rules of the game and fulfilling her responsibility to the players as a doctor, putting their safety first.

It added: “Jose Mourinho also thanked Dr Carneiro for the excellent and dedicated support she provided as first team doctor and he wishes her a successful career.”

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Getty Images

Image caption

Jose Mourinho leaves the employment tribunal after settling the claims of Dr Carneiro

In a statement to the tribunal, Mr Mourinho – who was sacked by Chelsea in December after a run of poor form – conceded that he used the term “filho da puta”, meaning “son of a whore” and insisted he had been using it throughout the match.

But Mary O’Rourke QC, acting for Dr Carneiro, told the tribunal on Monday: “He [Mourinho] uses the word ‘filha’ because he is abusing a woman.”

The FA ruled on 30 September 2015 that the words did not constitute “discriminatory language” after consulting an independent academic expert in Portuguese linguistics.

Mr Mourinho’s presence at the tribunal on Tuesday was unexpected because it was not thought he was going to give evidence until next week.

Also in attendance were Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, chairman Bruce Buck, head physio Jason Palmer and head of communications and PR, Steve Atkins.


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Getty Images

Image caption

Jose Mourinho was unveiled as the new manager of Manchester United in May

Jose Mourinho profiled

  • Portuguese football manager born in 1963
  • The self-styled “Special One” of managers
  • One of only five managers to have won European Cup with two different teams
  • In 2012 became fifth manager to have won league titles in at least four different countries
  • Led Chelsea to first English league title in 50 years in 2005
  • Won title again in 2006, but sacked by Chelsea in 2007
  • Returned to Chelsea in 2013 and won another league title in 2015
  • Sacked by Chelsea again last December after disastrous start to season
  • Appointed manager of Manchester United in May

The case was expected to last seven to 10 days and could have led to potentially embarrassing witness statements and documents – including texts and emails – being made public.

Dr Carneiro alleged that on 10 August last year Mr Mourinho told Mr Atkins that he did not want Dr Carneiro on the bench at the next match, adding: “She works in academy team or ladies team, not with me.”

She also claimed Chelsea took no action following complaints about sexually explicit chanting at various away games – in particular at Manchester United and West Ham – and a lack of female changing facilities.

Further allegations were that she was not provided with a club suit, and regularly had to endure sexually explicit comments from her colleagues.

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