The group Women in Football (WiF) says it is “appalled” with the English Football Association’s decision to clear Jose Mourinho of alleged discrimination against Eva Carneiro.
The former Chelsea doctor, who left her post last month, was publicly criticised by Mourinho after she treated Eden Hazard on the pitch during the Premier League clash with Swansea City.
Suggestions emerged that Mourinho had directed abusive language towards Carneiro as he berated his medical team from the touchline, but the FA stated on Wednesday that it was “satisfied that the words used do not constitute discriminatory language under FA Rules”.
That decision has been slammed by WiF, which represents a number of female professionals within the sport, after it conducted its own investigation into the incident using a linguistics expert.
“Women in Football (WiF) are appalled by the conclusion of the FA investigation into Jose Mourinho’s conduct during, and following, Chelsea’s match against Swansea on August 8 2015,” read a statement released via its official website.
“Contrary to the FA’s appointed expert’s advice, which WiF has not seen, our own language expert made it abundantly clear that the abusive words used by Mr Mourinho on the touchline that day were specifically directed towards a woman, as indicated by the grammar of his sentence.
“Other Portuguese speakers we contacted in gathering evidence also emphasised this point. We therefore find it extraordinary that any expert or Portuguese speaker would report otherwise.
“WiF can only conclude that this latest investigation provides yet another damning example of the FA failing to tackle discrimination, specifically sexism, in the football industry.
“Once again we are concerned by what we can only perceive as serious flaws in the process of such investigations. It is also disappointing that even on the day this investigation was announced by the FA, reports had already appeared in the media suggesting that Mr Mourinho was unlikely to be charged.
“The conclusion from the investigation also leads us to question the FA’s commitment to referees and medics. If a similar incident were to occur in the future should the medic listen to the club manager not the referee in charge of the game? This sets a disturbing precedent.
“At a time when the Department of Culture, Media and Sport are looking into how to improve the landscape for women in the football industry, and more generally engaging women and girls in sport, this latest episode sends out a seriously worrying counter message to those efforts.”
The FA later issued a staunch defence of the linguist at the centre of its own investigation, stating: “The linguistic was native Portuguese and has taught at the highest level universities in both Portugal and the UK with many published works on both Portuguese lexicography and lexicology and Portuguese linguistics including modern day vernacular.”
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