London - FIFA delivered what amounted to
a rebuke to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on Thursday amid reports that he has
banned the club's first team doctor Eva Carneiro following her treatment of an
injured player in a Premier League match.
Professor Jiri Dvorak, FIFA's chief
medical officer, said that managers had no right to tell their medical staff
whether or not they should go on the pitch to treat a player and that
ultimately the doctor was in charge of what happened on the pitch.
Carneiro and Chelsea physiotherapist Jon
Fearn came on to treat Eden Hazard in stoppage time of Saturday's Premier
League game against Swansea City.
It left Mourinho furious that the player
then had to leave the field for treatment with Chelsea already reduced to 10
men following an earlier red card.
Although both the referee and Hazard
beckoned on the doctor, Mourinho said afterwards he believed the player was not
seriously injured and called his medical staff "impulsive and naive"
in a TV interview.
While Chelsea have not commented,
reports in the British media say he has subsequently banned Carneiro from the
bench, training sessions and the team hotel.
Yet Dvorak told Sky Sports that he fully
backed the doctor's actions.
Asked how much say the manager should have
if a player is injured, Dvorak explained: "In medical aspects, in medical
diagnosis, the manager has nothing to say.
"This is our professional law, and
our ethical duty to look after the players' health."
Asked if the manager could ever tell the
medical team not to enter the field, Dvorak said: "I can't see such a
situation and we have to defend the position of the doctor.
"Everyone involved has to respect
the fact the doctor is in charge."
"I don't want to interfere with the
club as such, but I would endorse clearly what the team doctor and the
physiotherapist did. When they were asked, they had to come on to the
Dvorak said that the doctor had to be on
the bench to observe the game and was allowed on the field even without the referee's
permission if he or she saw a player suffer a suspected cardiac arrest or a
head injury, including concussion.
"That is the sole decision of the
doctor and we at FIFA will always endorse that," he added.
The British Association of Sport and
Exercise Medicine (BASEM) said it supported the stance taken by the Premier
League Doctors Group on Wednesday and called for a full review of the events at
This was "essential to avoid any
unnecessary risk to players in the future", it said.
"Nothing takes precedence over the
health and well-being of athletes," BASEM said in a statement.
"And whoever decides a player needs
help, medical staff have an absolute obligation to fully assess the athlete
until satisfied they are fit to continue participation."
It added that "all those involved
in football have a moral obligation to assist medical staff to the best of
their ability to minimise any risk of serious harm to players."
Mourinho's behavior towards the
Gibraltar-born Carneiro was "absolutely appalling", Liverpool's
former head of sports science Peter Brukner told Talksport radio on Wednesday.
The Premier League Doctors Group said in
their statement that removing the doctor from the team bench would be
"unjust in the extreme" because she was doing her job properly.