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Calls For Introduction Of Independent Doctors Intensify After Vertonghen Injury

Calls For Introduction Of Independent Doctors Intensify After Vertonghen Injury
Aonghus Ó Maicín
By Aonghus Ó Maicín
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The world representative organisation for professional footballers, FIFPro, has called for the introduction of independent doctors to assess head injuries in football.

The move comes off the back of a controversial injury to Jan Vertonghen during last night's Champions League semi-final between Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax. After suffering a head injury, the Belgian defender had to leave the field before almost immediately returning to the fold. Upon his return, it became clear he wasn't fit to play on and he subsequently left the field again.

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After leaving the pitch for a second time, the centre-half could be seen vomiting and having to be physically held up by the club's medical staff.

This has caused FIFPro to call for temporary substitutes which would allow head injury assessments take place, as is currently the case in rugby.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Dr Vincent Gouttebarge, FIFPro's chief medical officer, urged authorities to implement these changes.


He said:


The problem is you need at least 10 minutes to apply properly this assessment tool and in football the medical team is given only three minutes to complete it.

This is a ridiculous measure with regard to the 10 minutes needed to thoroughly apply the tool and the protocol available.

With regard to yesterday's event, we have to be cautious of blaming the medical team for every concussion because it is not easy...The three minutes given to the medical team to make an on-field assessment of the concussion is just ridiculous.

Niall Quinn also addressed the issue during the half-time coverage of last night's game on Virgin Media Sport. The former Irish international pointed towards the actions rugby has taken to prevent head injuries and suggested football should follow suit.

He said:

Rugby dealt with this a long time ago; football needs to deal with it now. The blood-sub [needs] to come on. The did it in GAA here as well. You just cannot take any chances. Give it ten minutes and see how things go.

Findings in JAMA Nuerology, a peer-reviewed medical journal, after last year's World Cup in Russia, claimed concussions were often missed, or ignored, during games at the tournament.

The study found that of the 90 players showing two or more signs of concussions, only 33 were evaluated my medical staff while 39 were evaluated by the referee. Worryingly, 18 were evaluated by either another player or not at all.

Furthermore, many of the evaluations lasted for merely a matter of seconds.


Meanwhile,Vertonghen is understood to be undergoing further tests today.

SEE ALSO: Iker Casillas Rushed To Hospital After Suffering Heart Attack In Training



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