Doctor Eva Carneiro, who left Chelsea last year after being publicly criticized by Jose Mourinho, has revealed that she had received death threats and threats of sexual violence after her departure, and said that the issue of sexism in football continues to be ignored.
Last season, Carneiro ran onto the Stamford Bridge pitch to treat Eden Hazard that led to the team temporarily reduced to nine men in a late 2-2 draw against Swansea. Mourinho called her and physiotherapist Jon Fearn, who accompanied her onto the field, “impulsive and naive”.
Carneiro did not appear on the bench again for first-team duties and later left the club. There were also allegations of the Portuguese manager abusing her in his native language.
Carneiro was reportedly willing to press claims of sex discrimination and harassment against the then Chelsea manager Mourinho, but settled for a ‘constructive dismissal’.
In an interview
“Even though I don’t have a presence on social media – I think I have made one post ever in my life – some of the threats of sexual violence and death threats make it through. They (the abusers) just seem to be faceless cowards and they should be answerable to legislation,” she told the newspaper.
She also said sexism continues to be an ignored topic in football, and urged the authorities to take up the issue.
“It is one thing to say, ‘we will end discrimination’ and I think it is widely accepted that discrimination exists in the sport,” she said. “I think sexism is the least challenged form of discrimination. Anti-Semitic and other racist comments are widely condemned and I don’t think that is the case (with sexism) and it begs the question what that leaves room for behind the scenes.
“It is widely accepted that football has a discrimination problem. I really do feel that way, but I think it is the least challenged form of discrimination.
“Growing up I didn’t think it (gender inequality) was going to be a problem. It never even occurred to me there would be differences in what we could achieve, or what we were told we could achieve, by being girls or boys.
“At university more than 50% of the intake in medical school is female, so a female doctor wanting to do anything from trauma surgery to working in the military is not surprising. As I sought specialist training in certain sports, male colleagues found that quite surprising.
“There was very much a dialogue of bringing attention to my gender or objectifying me in some way. They described that as a limit to my career progression in that direction, which I was stunned by. It was a dialogue more appropriate for the 1950s.”