Tuesday 20 November 2018

FIFA to review concussion protocol after Morocco winger's quick return to action

Nordin Amrabat began the match wearing protective head gear but discarded it during the first half (Tim Goode/EMPICS)
Nordin Amrabat began the match wearing protective head gear but discarded it during the first half (Tim Goode/EMPICS)

Press Association

FIFA is to consider making a change to their concussion protocols following Morocco's decision to play Nordin Amrabat just five days after suffering a concussion.

The Watford winger suffered a concussion in the African side's opening game against Iran on but then played in the second Group B match against Portugal on Wednesday, five days after that head injury.

This was strongly criticised by brain injury experts, though, who pointed out that Amrabat should have taken at least a week off, as per FIFA's 'return to play' guidelines.

Amrabat started the game wearing a rugby-style scrum cap but discarded it after just 16 minutes.

And Michel d'Hooghe, head of FIFA's medical committee, has voiced his disapproval of Morocco's handling of the case and suggested sanctions may be brought in to discourage a repeat.

"When I saw what happened, I was not just surprised but disappointed and very angry," d'Hooghe told the Mail on Sunday.

"All the team doctors know very well what should happen, but Morocco's behaviour was in defiance of our guidelines.

"We though that with these guidelines we had enough power, but it seems now that this is not the case.

"Perhaps we need to go one step further and impose sanctions if the guidelines are not followed.

"I am convinced that the majority of team doctors take this very seriously, but now we face a new problem thanks to the Moroccan medical delegation."

Press Association

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