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Headway chief slams handling of Benjamin Pavard's head injury

Headway chief slams handling of Benjamin Pavard's head injury
© Reuters
Benjamin Pavard said he had been unconscious for a short period, but played on.

The handling of France full-back Benjamin Pavard’s head injury in his team’s Euro 2020 match against Germany has been described as “sickening” by brain injury charity Headway.

Pavard was involved in a collision with Germany’s Robin Gosens in the second half of Tuesday night’s match in Munich.

He said afterwards he had been “a little knocked out for 10 or 15 seconds” and hit the ground after the incident without getting his hands out to cushion his fall.

Pavard lies prone on the pitch after his collision with Gosens
Benjamin Pavard lies prone on the pitch after his collision with Robin Gosens (Alexander Hassenstein/AP)

Concussion substitutes were not approved for the tournament, with UEFA instead trialling them at its European Under-21 Championship.

Peter McCabe, the chief executive of Headway, said: “The way this incident was handled was sickening to watch.

“UEFA has to come out and immediately explain how it was allowed to happen and what action it will now take to ensure something similar does not occur in the future.”

Headway said Pavard had received less than three minutes of treatment before coming back into the action.

“This is another example of football authorities failing to protect the short- and long-term health of a player,” McCabe added.

“It was plain for all to see that Pavard was unable to protect himself from the fall. Pavard’s later statement that he lost consciousness confirms the seriousness of the incident.

“We have continuously been told that football’s concussion protocols are fit for purpose and that temporary concussion substitutes are not necessary.

“But here we have yet another example where it is simply not credible to suggest that a concussion could not be ‘suspected’ or a possible consequence of the impact. However, after a brief on-pitch assessment the player was allowed to continue.

“Furthermore, it appeared that the referee was attempting to speed up the medical team and usher them and the player off the pitch, rather than allowing them the time they needed to assess the seriousness of the injury.

“Why is it so hard for football to accept it has got this wrong and follow the example set by other sports by introducing temporary concussion substitutes?”

The PA news agency understands UEFA has been in contact with the French federation over the incident.

World players’ union FIFPRO and the English union, the Professional Footballers’ Association, wrote to the game’s law-making body the International Football Association Board in April asking it to extend the scope of its trials to cover temporary concussion substitutes.

The letter warned that the current protocols had “jeopardised players’ health”.

The Premier League and the Football Association trialled permanent concussion substitutes in its competitions from February.

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Wednesday's key events


ROWING
· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (3.15am-6.10am)

CYCLING
· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

DIVING
· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

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