Eva Carneiro, the former Chelsea first-team doctor, has broken her silence on the dispute with Jose Mourinho, severely criticising the Football Association for failing to interview her in the course of its investigation into whether she was the victim of alleged sexist abuse by the Chelsea manager.
In a statement that is a damning indictment of the FA’s procedure on investigating such complaints, Carneiro reveals that the governing body did not even approach her to seek evidence before it exonerated Mourinho of any wrongdoing this week.
The original complaint, made by a member of the public, was that Mourinho used an abusive phrase, with a sexist element, in reference to Carneiro that was picked up by the touchline microphones during the Premier League game against Swansea City on 8 August.
FA independent board member Heather Rabbatts criticised the FA’s handling of the case, and FA chairman Greg Dyke has said that Mourinho should apologise for the way Carneiro, who has since left the club, has been treated.
In a statement released yesterday, Carneiro said that the FA had “chosen to ignore” evidence. She said it also failed to act when she was the subject of sexist abuse from West Ham fans last season.
There is no suggestion in the statement that Carneiro believes she was the subject of abuse from Mourinho. The case has become a problem for Chelsea, with the club and their manager appearing heavy-handed in their treatment of Carneiro. Mourinho again refused to discuss the matter at his weekly press conference on Friday.
Carneiro said: “I was surprised to learn that the FA was allegedly investigating the incident of 8 August via the press. I was at no stage requested by the FA to make a statement. I wonder whether this might be the only formal investigation in this country where the evidence of the individuals involved in the incident was not considered relevant. Choosing to ignore some of the evidence will surely influence the outcome of the findings.
“Last season I had a similar experience at a game at West Ham FC, where I was subject to verbal abuse. Following complaints by the public, the FA produced a communication to the press saying there had been no sexist chanting during this game. At no time was I approached for a statement despite the fact that vile, unacceptable, sexually explicit abuse was clearly heard.
“It is incidents such as these and the lack of support from the football authorities that make it so difficult for women in the game. I admire what Heather Rabbatts has done and thank her and friends and colleagues who have supported me at this difficult time.”
Carneiro did not go back to the club’s Cobham training ground after that game, having been stripped of her matchday duties. She has since agreed to leave the club. Rabbatts said on Thursday that the governing body had let down Carneiro.
The FA said Carneiro could have been approached for evidence only if she had made a complaint about Mourinho’s behaviour. Carneiro’s contract did not permit her to do that unless summoned.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies