The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) has warned against making any changes to the way players are attended to by medical staff on the field of play in the wake of Jose Mourinho’s outburst.
Chelsea manager Mourinho was critical of his medical team after they gave treatment to winger Eden Hazard late in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Swansea City.
Hazard was briefly forced off meaning that, following Thibaut Courtois’ dismissal, Chelsea were down to nine men, and the Portuguese later stated he “wasn’t happy” with his medical staff.
Club doctor Eva Carneiro thanked the public for their support in the aftermath of the criticism, but reports suggest she is set to be given a reduced role on the Chelsea bench as a result.
However, the PFA feels Carneiro’s approach was the right one – stating its preference for the protocol to remain as it is.
“The health and safety of our members is of paramount importance and the need, when required, for prompt assessment and treatment is critical in ensuring this,” it explained in a statement.
“The player and the referee are the initial judges as to whether treatment is required and the matter is then the responsibility of the highly qualified and trained medical staff.
“This protocol has worked successfully in past seasons and we can see no justifiable reason to move away from this.”
Carneiro also received backing from the Football Medical Association, with chief executive officer Eamonn Salmon stating: “If a player sustains or appears to sustain an injury and indicates that he needs assistance, it is the duty of the referee to permit medical assessment and evaluation to be provided.
“At that moment the player becomes a patient of the medical team and it is the duty and obligation of club medical staff to attend to that patient accordingly and without prejudice to the interests of anyone else including the club employing them.
“The Football Medical Association fully supports the actions of our members and colleagues in this incident who acted with integrity and professionalism at all times, fully cognisant of the rules of the game and in full accordance with that duty of care to their patient.
“Factors extraneous to the immediate medical needs of the patient (such as the stage and state of the game) cannot be part of their consideration at such time.”
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