By 90Min
January 18, 2018

Watford are facing up to a discrimination court case after the club's former doctor claimed that he was sacked for being English and not Italian.

The Times has reported that Richard Collinge, a physiotherapist who also headed up the Hornets' medical team, was relieved of his duties in September 2016 - a sacking that came during Walter Mazzarri's ill-fated 12-month reign as manager.

Collinge had been in the role for less than two years and was, perhaps unsurprisingly, replaced by a fellow Italian of Mazzarri's - Giorgio Gasperini - and who had also worked under Gianfranco Zola in Hertfordshire.

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Collinge was in the midst of his second spell at Watford having previously worked for them between 2002 and 2011, with jobs at Wigan, Montreal Impact and Cardiff City coming inbetween his stints at Vicarage Road.

The physio was unable to put forward a case of unfair dismissal on the grounds that he was let go due to his nationality and nothing more, with a discrimination case the only legal option open to him.

Watford have strongly denied the allegations and will fight the case through the relevant courts, with their defence thought to be based around a decision to create a state-of-the-art medical centre with a permanent doctor in place.

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Mazzarri was quizzed on the claims himself following Collinge's departure, but the ex-Inter Milan boss insisted that it was a club decision - expected to have been made by Watford's owners the Pozzo family - rather than any involvement on his part.

He had said: “I had nothing to do with this decision. I couldn’t have influenced it.”

Collinge refused to comment on the claims himself when asked to do so by the Times. The case will be heard by an employment tribunal with no known date for the case yet to be disclosed.

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