The furore about Jose Mourinho’s latest temper tantrum in relation to Dr Eva Carneiro’s decision to tend to Chelsea star, Eden Hazard, on the field of play – thus reducing Chelsea to nine men for a brief period – is not a reflection on her gender. It is a reflection on the exercising of her professional opinion and obligation as a medical practitioner. 

Eva Carneiro did the right thing. By dint of their professional mindset, medical practitioners are cautious. As they should be. They try to gather facts and evidence and then make an assessment and determine treatment. They’re dealing with people’s health, physical and mental longevity and wellbeing, and life and death (though, fortunately, rarely the latter on the football field). 

It is simply wrong for Jose Mourinho – who, after all, is a football manager, not someone who has done a minimum of 13 years of education and is forever required to keep that professional education up-to-date – to say that it was “naive” of Dr Carneiro to treat Hazard. Mourinho claims Hazard was “just tired”, a remarkable comment about last season’s player of the year. 

However, what is a gender issue is the subsequent treatment of Eva Carneiro. That includes some parts of the media and the way they have described her in terms of her physical appearance rather than her professional status and decision-making. Even more concerning is Chelsea’s handling of the situation in which they have backed Mourinho’s decision to “banish” her from the bench and relieve her of many of her duties.

It is not the first time women working in football have been banished for upsetting a powerful man (or men). Sadly, it probably won’t be the last, unless some of the powerful women in football – for example, the three on the FIFA Executive Committee – start to stand-up for what should be their values and tell the football world and especially Chelsea Football Club: “No way Jose”. 

Categories: Opinion | Women | Premier League

jose mourinho, eva cameiro, chelsea fc, epl, sexism in football

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