Excellent choice for one of the "quotes of the week" from Jose Mourinho, especially as he is probably right (Speakers` Corner,14 August)! His medical staff clearly "have to understand the game", as played at Chelsea and many other football clubs; just because players roll theatrically in apparent agony after a collision, or throw themselves to the ground when near an opponent, does not necessarily mean medical attention is required, even if the referee thinks so. The official, of course, cannot afford to make a mistake in such situations. Imagine what Mourinho would have said if the referee had ignored the "injury" if it turned out to be real or serious, and, no doubt, the Professional Footballers Association would find itself unable to resist adding its criticism too.
Unsurprisingly, Gordon Taylor, the extremely well-remunerated secretary of the PFA, with reputed earnings last year of £3.3 m, has limited the interference of his organisation in the Carneiro affair to a bland statement about "responsibility". As the PFA does nothing about the huge amount of "diving" to gain unfair advantage over fellow professionals, one can hardly expect it to complain when medical staff are punished for daring to attend a patient when far more important league points are at stake! Clearly, the PFA "understands the game" perfectly!