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Despite England’s early exit, we have been able to enjoy good football and plenty of goals in this year’s World Cup. However, one aspect of the World Cup that has not been to football’s credit, is the apparent continuing disregard for the safety of players who suffer head injury.
The Ecuadoran player Cristhian Noboa went for a header during the match with France and clashed heads with the French player Blaise Matuidi. Noboa’s scalp was badly bleeding as his team’s medics examined him on the pitch. However, rather than sitting out to get properly examined, he went immediately back on the pitch with gauze ‘hat’ on his head.
Most disturbingly was the head injury of the Uruguayan player Álvaro Pereira, who seemed to lose consciousness after colliding with another player. Still visibly dazed after regaining consciousness, he went straight back onto the pitch, overruling his team doctor’s opinion and flouting official guidance.
This may have been simply due to his desire to continue playing the game, or a concern that he did not want to use one of his team’s substitutions. In response the players’ union has called for temporary concussion substitutions. Whatever the cause, everyone in football needs to understand the true dangers of a concussive head injury and that a player’s health is far more important than continuing to play, no matter what match it is.
At Head Injury UK our specialist solicitors hope that football enforces proper safety procedures to look after its players, who are often not in a fit state to decide whether it is safe for them continuing playing after a head injury. Fortunately it appears neither player has suffered long term consequences, but next time someone many not be so lucky. If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury that was someone else’s fault, then contact Andy Shaw or call us on 0800 073 0988.
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