English Premier League, soccer, sports, Stories

Jose Mourinho makes Eva Carneiro the best known name in the EPL this week. How and why?

“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow. I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism. I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug. I will not be ashamed to say ‘I know not,’ nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery. I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God. I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick. I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure. I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm. If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”

The above text is the Hippocratic oath—the modern version—as transcribed by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University in 1964.

Will someone bother to inform Jose Mourinho, arguably the most powerful soccer manager in the world, in his own words, ‘The Special One’ that his players’ well-being comes first and then his side’s winning chances?

Eva Carneiro, the Chelsea team doctor and Gibraltarian sports medicine specialist of British and Spanish parentage, together with head physiotherapist Jon Fearn, rushed to treat Eden Hazard in Chelsea’s game against Swansea last Saturday reducing the number of players on the field to nine. This did not go down well with Mourinho who publicly rebuked them.

The temperamental coach criticised his medical staff as being “impulsive and naive” and displaying a lack of knowledge of the game.

Some might say the same of the Portuguese national’s remarks and actions being indicative of his lack of awareness of medical ethics.

While his castigation of  Carneiro may not be sexist, it certainly is cause for concern as it shows a disturbing trend wherein players’ welfare is put after the club’s.

Peter Brukner, formerly Liverpool’s head of sports medicine and sports science and Australia cricket team doctor, said:

“I thought it was appalling behaviour by the manager. 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? Maybe he should be criticising his player for staying down, rather than the medical staff. 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. They were doing their job and they’ve been criticised very publicly for doing the job. I think that’s a very disappointing result.”

Carneiro has been with Chelsea since  February 2009. She was previously with the British Olympic Medical Institute and with England Women’s Football and UK Athletics.

The Chelsea boss insists that the medical duo will not attend at this Sunday’s derby game against Manchester City.

Carneiro alienated Mourinho further by posting a ‘Thank you’ note on her Facebook account.

Ralph Rogers, a former team doctor for Chelsea under Carlo Ancelotti, criticised his contemporary.

He said:

“You are support staff. You’re not one of the stars. There’s almost a slap in the face to the manager.

Why would she go to social media? It’s something we, as a profession, ethically should not be doing.”

The Premier League Doctors’ Group though supported Carneiro.

Their prepared statement read:

“Dr Carneiro has universal and total support from her medical colleagues at the Premier League Doctors’ Group. It is also of great concern that at a time when the both the Premier League and the Premier League Doctors’ Group are intensifying efforts to safeguard player welfare, the precedent set by this incident demonstrates that the medical care of players appears to be secondary to the result of the game.

The Premier League Doctors’ Group considers that removing Dr Carneiro from the Chelsea team bench for their next match is unjust in the extreme. In the publicised incident in last Saturday’s game against Swansea, the Chelsea medical staff were clearly summoned on to the field of play by the match referee to attend to a player. A refusal to run on to the pitch would have breached the duty of care required of the medical team to their patient.

It is a huge concern that Dr Carneiro has been subjected to unprecedented media scrutiny and a change in her professional role, merely because she adhered to her code of professional conduct and did her job properly.”

So what will it be?

Will the Chelsea supremo back down and accept his fault? The man demands total loyalty from his staff and considers himself a benevolent dictator.

Or will Eva Carneiro be reduced to backend support and, perhaps, an eventual exit?

Your guess is as good as mine.


I have been an IT professional with over 12 years professional experience. I'm an B.Sc. in Statistics, M.Sc in Computer Science (University of Mumbai) and an MBA from the Cyprus International Institute of Management. I'm also a finance student and have completed levels I and II of the CFA course. Blogging is a part-time vocation until I land a full-time position. I am also the author of three books, Those Glory Days: Cricket World Cup 2011, IPL Vignettes and Poems: An Anthology, all available on Amazon Worldwide.


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