Chelsea physio Eva Carneiro is reportedly planning to take legal action as her wrangle with Jose Mourinho continues.
The Portuguese, as well as colleague Jon Fearn, were banned from the first team bench and the Blues’ Cobham training centre after an incident on the opening day.
In the final minutes of Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Swansea, Carneiro and Fearn rushed onto the field to treat Eden Hazard, who had gone down injured.
This temporarily left the Blues with eight outfield players, after goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was sent off earlier in the match.
Despite being beckoned onto the pitch by both Hazard and referee Michael Oliver, Carneiro and Fearn were labelled “naïve” and accused of “not understanding the game” by Mourinho.
The pair haven’t been formally sacked, with FIFA’s medical committee to review the case on Friday. The outcome determining whether any legal action is likely to take place.
However, according to reports from the Daily Star, should a return to her previous at the club be found to be impossible, Carneiro will take legal action against the club.
Reports suggest that allegations of sexism will form part of any potential case, with Carneiro reporting that she was referred to as Mourinho’s “secretary” in a post match press conference.
In that conference, Mourinho said: “Even if you are a kit man, a doctor or a secretary on the bench, you have to understand the game. I was sure he hadn’t a serious problem.
“He was very tired but my medical department, on an impulse, was naive and left me with eight outfield players on a counter-attack.”
Mary O’Rourke QC, who represented Harlequins doctor Wendy Chapman during Rugby Union’s 2009 ‘Bloodgate’ incident, believes that Carneiro may have a case.
Speaking at the Soccerex Convention in Manchester, O’Rourke said: “Ninety-five per cent of secretaries are women. Everyone listening to that would have taken it as a comment that women don’t know anything about football.
“If you put that statement out to 100 people, 99 of them would interpret it the same way.
“The medical team did nothing wrong because their duty was to the player as their patient. Their job in the club is to look after the players, not to run the team and be tactically aware.
“The courts of appeal have confirmed that the medical team owe a duty to the player to look after him as a patient. If you have a manager barring them from coming on, you are preventing them doing the duty they are obliged to do.”