Why was Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho so enraged when Dr Eva Carneiro dashed on to the field of play and treated a downed Evan Hazard?
Dominic Lawson has an idea, writing in the Sunday Times. He says what really annoyed the Chelsea boss was not Dr Eva’s gender (and, boy, have the tabloids had a field day with abusing that), her decision to place her ethics and professionalism ahead of team tactics or an adherence to the game’s rules (the ref had waved her on) – it was that she had exposed Chelsea’s plot to cheat:
It looked as if the player concerned was badly hurt but he wasn’t — and Mourinho understood this. Indeed the reason why the rules now state that injured players must be removed from the field of play — so the match can continue — is precisely because so many players were feigning injury to waste time.
What Mourinho appeared to be saying was that his medical team were not in on the scam — and it was unforgivable that they did not sufficiently grasp that faking or exaggerating injury is part and parcel of the professional game.
In other words, it was their job to spot those rare occasions when the player really was badly injured — and to ignore the referee’s summons when the official might not have realised that this was just play-acting.
Feigning injury is part of the game. Fool the referee and buy breathing space for your team – Mourinho did say Hazard was “tired”.
It’s hard to know what the truth is. But to avoid a repeat of the Mourinho-Carneiro spat, it’s surely time players used secret signals to tell the bench it’s just an act.