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Eva Carneiro saga at Chelsea reveals prevalent sexism in football

Tabloids digging into Carneiro's past to drag her name through the mud showcases the attitude towards women in a male-dominated game

Eva Carneiro was removed from first team duties by Jose Mourinho and Chelsea

“Football,” said Emmanuel Adebayor, “is a game of men,” before continuing his rant on how Barcelona were babies and not men enough to cope up with the physical intricacies of the game. Of course, Adebayor probably didn’t mean to be sexist – but the conception that football is a game of men is, in itself, a condescending notion that needs addressing. Quickly.

And the most recent example of the tragic sexism that surrounds the game is that of the treatment of Eva Carneiro. After the referee signaled the Chelsea bench for medical attention on Eden Hazard, Jon Fearn and Eva Carneiro rushed to the pitch to treat him – something that infuriated Jose Mourinho as his team were momentarily down to 8 men.

The Portuguese then went to question the football knowledge of his staff when, in fact, they were acting according to the rules of the game – something that would have put them into trouble had they not obliged – making Mourinho look like the one in desperate need of knowing the rules.

Once she was in the limelight, deciphering what was next in her fate wasn’t hard for anyone with a little bit of awareness on how the world works. This is a patriarchal society – a place where belonging to a particular gender automatically gives you more rights and freedom, and belonging to the opposite sex puts you in difficult positions in every turn of life.

Tabloids revealing Carneiro’s personal details is a new low

When the Sun released Eva Carneiro’s ex-boyfriend’s claims about her having an affair with a Chelsea player (they took it down later), it depicted the bottomless depths of yellow journalism. As a writer, it shames me beyond limits that a fellow writer could do something like this to push more traffic to the website.

These days, morality and ethics are words used just for dictionary related purposes. The fact that something as personal as this was shared at this point of time was sick and disgusting. It doesn’t matter if the claims were true or not, her name has been mixed with the mud regardless.

Eva Carneiro has been a sweetheart among the football fraternity for quite a while now, but rarely was anything ever written on her. However, once she was pushed to the limelight, her ex-boyfriend was contacted to take advantage of the situation.

It is really a shame that I am having to run my fingers over the keyboard on an issue like this in the “modern” 21st century. As if being made the scapegoat by Mourinho wasn’t enough, she now has almost the whole community talking about her.

Only Carneiro was targeted, Fearn was not

Jon Fearn was also demoted for treating Eden Hazard. His name, however, is not even known by many – let alone being attempted to spoil by the media. No news outlet contacted any of his exes to ask about his character. This is not to imply that they should have, just the sad realism of the way women are objectified in this world.

Eva Carneiro Jon Fearn Eden Hazard Jose Mourinho Chelsea
Fearn (L) was also demoted, but only Carneiro has been targeted by the media

All this traces back to Jose Mourinho. In his anger and almost inscrutable narcissism which makes him think that he can’t be wrong, he perhaps didn’t expect Carneiro’s name to be drowned the way it has been. But it would be a shame if that was indeed the case given that anybody with a little bit of common sense could have predicted all this, and the Portuguese’s sense is above the average.

There aren’t many managers who would point fingers at their medical team for treating a player – even if the team conceded while the said player was being treated. In Mourinho’s case, however, the team didn’t concede and it would have been justifiable had he focused more on Hazard’s time-wasting tactics instead.

Mourinho might not lose a minute’s sleep over what happened, but he really should begin to contemplate on his nature before it is too late. He will go down as one of the greatest managers of the game, but almost everyone will remember him with disdain for his acts – especially the ones he directly hurt. He will never admit his mistake, but if it was his daughter under scrutiny instead of Eva, he would have been cursing himself for that despicable act.

Carneiro’s only fault is that she is pretty and she wasn’t born a male. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have had to suffer such embarrassment. Now, every woman will think twice before being related with a popular sport like football.

We have failed Eva Carneiro. And all other women in the world.


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