Football Soccer Head charity says Ederson injury highlights need for temporary
Football Soccer Head charity says Ederson injury highlights need for temporary

Football: Soccer-Head charity says Ederson injury highlights need for temporary concussion substitutes

LONDON (Reuters) – A leading head injury charity has reiterated its call for temporary concussion substitutes after Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson played on for a few minutes after suffering a blow to the head in Tuesday’s win at Tottenham Hotspur.

The Brazilian was injured in a collision with Tottenham defender Cristian Romero in the second half of the Premier League clash and needed lengthy treatment from medics on the pitch.

He was eventually deemed fit to continue despite looking groggy before manager Pep Guardiola replaced him with Stefan Ortega who went on to make two crucial saves.

Guardiola later said Ederson had suffered a blow to the eye but charity Headway said that any suspicion of concussion should have meant the keeper was immediately substituted.

“The fundamental principle of any concussion protocol is ‘if in doubt, sit it out’,” Headway chief Luke Griggs said.

“The concern from players of both teams in the immediate aftermath of the injury, as well as from the medical team and the fact a stretcher was brought onto the pitch, would suggest a clear concern for Ederson’s wellbeing.

“While we were relieved to see the player taken off a few minutes later, it is hard to fathom why this was not an immediate decision.”

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) were criticised by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) after rejecting FA and Premier League calls for temporary concussion substitutes this season.

Temporary concussion substitutes would allow medics and doctors to take an injured player off the field and replaced during a 15-minute analysis. The player could then return to the pitch if he showed no signs of concussion.

IFAB agreed instead in March to the introduction of permanent concussion substitutes from July 2024, meaning teams can make additional substitutions beyond their normal allocation when a player has suffered a suspected concussion.

Ederson appeared angry at being substituted and Headway said the situation would have been easier had he been allowed to leave the pitch for a medical check-up.

“It is yet another example of when a temporary concussion substitute would have been helpful,” Griggs said.

“Ederson’s angry reaction is no surprise given the competitive nature of players who want to take part in massive games like this one, though his reaction underscores the need to take such decisions out of the players’ hands.”

Guardiola insisted that Ederson had been checked by City’s doctors and had not suffered a concussion.

“He had a problem with his eye,” Guardiola said. “He could not see properly, so the doctor said I should change.”

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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