Wednesday 23 January 2019

MP calls for independent medical assessment for injured footballers

MPs discussed the issue following Loris Karius’ head injury.

Loris Karius made two key errors in Kiev (Peter Byrne/PA)
Loris Karius made two key errors in Kiev (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Harriet Line, Press Association Political Staff

Footballers should undergo independent medical assessments rather than be looked at by club doctors if they sustain head injuries, a Labour former minister has urged after Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius played on with concussion in the Champions League final.

Chris Bryant raised the case of Karius, who made two crucial errors after being caught in the head during the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev last month, during Business questions in the House of Commons on Thursday.

His comments came after Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom announced that MPs would debate acquired brain injury on Monday.

He said: “I’m enormously grateful to the Leader of the House that we’re having our debate on acquired brain injury, not least because the concussion suffered by the Liverpool goalkeeper in the recent Champions League match shows absolutely that football has not yet got this right.

“It shouldn’t be the club doctor that is making a decision about whether somebody continues to play – it should be an independent medical assessment.

“I hope that she will make sure that in that debate it’s not just a health minister, but that the whole of the Government is represented because there are so many issues for so many different departments.”

Leadsom said she was glad Bryant was pleased, adding: “He raises a very important point: acquired brain injury can affect any person through any reason, whether it’s violent attack, whether it’s a sporting accident, an industrial accident and so on.

“I’m sure he will make those representations very clearly and I for my part will make sure that the Government is listening carefully.”

Press Association

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