Belfast Telegraph

Knocked out players must leave field: PFA

By PAUL HIRST

The Professional Footballers' Association has called for any player who loses consciousness to be automatically removed from the field of play following the controversy surrounding Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Spurs allowed the Frenchman to stay on the pitch despite being knocked unconscious in a collision with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku during Sunday's Barclays Premier League match at Goodison Park.

The PFA says the rules need changing so that any player who loses consciousness during a match should be automatically taken off – current regulations leave it up to medical staff to make a decision.

Lloris insisted on staying on after Lukaku's knee caught him on the head. He was unable to remember the incident after the match, which is a sign of concussion. He was given a brain scan after the match in Liverpool but was given the all-clear.

PFA deputy chief executive John Bramhall said in a statement: "When treating a player on the pitch, it can be very difficult to determine the severity of a head injury. It is important to take the pressure off the players, club medical staff, and the manager – removing the need for them to make a very difficult decision.

"If anyone suffers a severe trauma to the head and loses consciousness, then they should be required to leave the field of play automatically.

"The PFA will continue to work with the stakeholders within the game, to evaluate what guidelines are currently in place and to see if and how they need to be improved to provide better protection for all those involved in the game."

Tottenham said medical staff were totally satisfied that Lloris was fit to continue, but have not made it clear whether he did suffer concussion.

Spurs said in a statement: "The club can confirm that Hugo Lloris underwent a precautionary CT scan and was given the all-clear and travelled back to London last night.

"The France goalkeeper suffered a knock to the head following a collision with Everton forward Romelu Lukaku in the closing stages of yesterday's Premier League encounter at Goodison Park and was cleared to resume playing after examination by the club's medical team."

Spurs head of medical services Wayne Diesel added: "Once the relevant tests and assessments were carried out we were totally satisfied that he was fit to continue playing."

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas confirmed that Lloris had been unconscious and could not remember a thing about the incident, but said he made the decision for the keeper to continue.

Fifa's chief medical officer Professor Jiri Dvorak said, however, that if there is any doubt about concussion then the player should be removed from the field of play.

Dvorak said there was a "99% probability" that Lloris would have been concussed after being knocked out when his head made contact with Lukaku's knee.

Fifa hosted a conference on concussion in sport a year ago, and earlier this year updated its guidelines.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph