Football Football

Mourinho in media walkout threat

Mourinho watches action at Wimbledon. PHOTO/File
Mourinho watches action at Wimbledon. PHOTO/File

COBHAM, August 15- Jose Mourinho was on the verge of storming out of a media briefing on Friday after the Chelsea manager lost his cool during a grilling over his criticism of the club’s medical staff.

Mourinho sparked controversy last weekend when he blasted first-team doctor Eva Carneiro and physio Jon Fearn for running onto the pitch to treat Eden Hazard after the Chelsea midfielder suffered an injury late in a 2-2 draw against Swansea.

With Chelsea already down to 10 men after Thibaut Courtois’s red card, Mourinho, who said he could tell Hazard wasn’t seriously injured, was infuriated that Carneiro and Fearn’s decision briefly left his team without another player as the Belgian waited to return to action.

Subsequent reports that the duo’s roles would be significantly changed led to condemnation from a variety of medical organisations and football personalities, with some accusing Mourinho of risking the health of his players.

When Mourinho confirmed at a packed press conference on Friday that Carneiro and Fearn wouldn’t be on the bench with him when Chelsea face Manchester City at Eastlands on Sunday, he must have hoped that would be the end of the matter.

But in a separate briefing for English national newspapers later on Friday, he was subjected to more searching questions and this time lost his patience.

He refused to answer the first seven questions on the issue, with a Chelsea press officer interjecting in a bid to smooth over the situation as Mourinho became increasingly irate.

Pressed further by one journalist, Mourinho responded by saying: “Don’t make me another question or I go. Think twice before you ask the question. Think twice.”

When the reporter then posed a question to the Chelsea press officer, Mourinho appeared ready to walk out.

“Now I go, have a good weekend,” he said, before the overworked press officer finally persuaded him to stay.

“Okay. We have Man City. Let’s talk about that or I go,” Mourinho said.

In between that spat, Mourinho had answered one question, making it clear he would never risk the health of his players.

“The first thing I said to my medical department, the thing I repeated one, two and three times, is that the player is more important than the manager, than the referee, than the result,” he said.

“And if the referee does not give you permission to go onto the pitch, you (still) go. It does not matter if the referee is not happy with that. It does not matter if the manager is not happy with that.

“If you know (the player is injured), if you feel, and it is easy to know when to feel because there are many examples of it, you go (on to the pitch) and you don’t think twice.”