Tottenham have been accused of having a “cavalier” attitude towards their players’ health by brain injury charity Headway.
Spurs allowed keeper Hugo Lloris to stay on the pitch despite being knocked unconscious in a collision with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku during Sunday’s Premier League match at Goodison Park.
That decision sparked criticism from the charity, as well as the Professional Footballers’ Association, who called for any player who loses consciousness to be automatically removed from the field of play.
Tottenham have defended their actions, but spokesman for Headway Luke Griggs said: “We are hugely concerned that a professional football club should take such an irresponsible and cavalier attitude to a player’s health.”
Lloris insisted on staying on after Lukaku’s knee caught him on the head. He was unable to remember the incident after the game, which is a sign of concussion. He was given the all-clear following a post-match brain scan.
PFA deputy chief executive John Bramhall said that the current rules concerning such incidents need changing.
He said: “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.”
Fifa chief medical officer, professor Jiri Dvorak, agreed with the PFA that players suspected of suffering from concussion should be removed from the field of play.
Dvorak said there was a “99 per cent probability” that Lloris would have been concussed after being knocked out when his head made contact with Lukaku’s knee.
The professor said: “The player should have been substituted. The fact the other player needed ice on his knee means it’s obvious the blow was extensive.
“It’s a 99 per cent probability that losing consciousness in such an event will result in concussion.”
Tottenham said on Monday that medical staff were satisfied that Lloris was fit to continue, but they have not confirmed whether the Frenchman had suffered from 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 Sunday’s Premier League encounter at Goodison Park and was cleared to resume playing after examination by the club’s medical team.”