PFA Issues Warning Following Hugo Lloris Injury

Tottenham Hotspur Have Faced Criticism For Allowing Goalkeeper To Play On

05.11.2013

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has entered the debate surrounding the head injury suffered by Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at the weekend (3 November).

Having fallen unconscious following a collision with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, the French goalkeeper was given the once over by medical staff on the side of the pitch before being allowed to finish the match.

This has sparked a great deal of controversy, with organisations such as brain injury charity Headway labelling Spurs' actions as "irresponsible".

A number of pundits and ex-footballers have leapt to the defence of the Premier League club's medical team, who were instrumental in saving the life of Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed on the pitch during an FA Cup tie in March 2012.

However, the PFA has now called for players to be automatically removed from the field of play if they lose consciousness.

The organisation stated that introducing a universal rule such as this would prevent medical staff from making very difficult decisions.

PFA deputy chief executive John Bramhall said the union will continue to work with stakeholders within the game to assess what guidelines are currently in place and how these could be improved.

"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," he remarked.

World players' union FIFPro has also offered its views on the Lloris debate, suggesting it was "unacceptable" for Spurs to allow the French international to finish the game despite suffering a head injury.

FIFPro's medical adviser Vincent Gouttebarge insisted the health and safety of players should be the number one priority and must not be compromised.

FIFA - which governs the global game - has also stressed that guidelines are in place for dealing with players who may have suffered a brain trauma or concussion.

Expert Opinion
Head and brain injuries can take time to develop and there is no sure-fire way of knowing whilst out on the pitch if Hugo Loris had suffered from any serious problems.

It would not be unusual for a player suffering a serious brain injury to be able to continue to the end of a game then suffer from further problems later, as there are all kinds of factors involved in such complex situations.

Anyone suffering from concussion or blackouts because of an impact injury to their head should seek medical advice; and if the accident occurs during their working hours then their employers have a duty to ensure that they are properly protected.”
Neil Whiteley, Partner