NOT MAKING HEADWAY
Brain injury association Headway expressed anger and disappointment at football’s continued failings to protect players from concussion after Raul Jimenez fractured his skull against Arsenal in a collision with David Luiz – who played on until half-time.
Luke Griggs, deputy chief executive at Headway, said: “Only last week we strongly criticised the International Football Association Board (IFAB) for its continued procrastination in introducing concussion substitutes into the sport.
“Too often in football, we see players returning to the pitch having undergone a concussion assessment – only to be withdrawn a few minutes later when it is clear that they are not fit to continue.
“That is the very reason why we urgently need temporary concussion substitutes in football. You simply cannot take a risk with head injuries. They are not like muscular injuries where you can put a player back on ‘to see if they can it if off’. One further blow to the head when concussed could have serious consequences.
“The question that has to be asked is had the concussion substitutes rule been in place, would Luiz have been allowed to return to the field of play? Would that extra time in the treatment room have led to a different decision being made?
“The concussion protocol clearly states that ‘…anyone with a suspected concussion must be immediately removed from play’, while the sport continues to promote an ‘if in doubt, sit it out’ approach to head injuries.
“Time and time again we are seeing this rhetoric not being borne out by actions on the pitch. Something is not right. This cannot be allowed to continue. How many warnings does football need?”