When will concussions be considered serious for FIFA? Alvaro Pereira was injured during the second half of Uruguay's win over England at the World Cup and how he was treated on field has the hackles of viewers around the world questioning the priorities of the game. The Uruguayan midfielder appeared to momentarily lose consciousness when his head collided with the knee of an English player. According to the Los Angeles Times on Friday, FIFA is behind other leagues and federations when it comes to concussion protocol.
While the “concussion-protocol” is seen in other sports like the NFL, NBA and even NHL, there appears to be nothing that will stop a World Cup player. The biggest issue seemed to be that FIFA doesn’t have a system of what will be done if there is a concussion type injury on the field. Looking to make the players more of a priority, the issue has been splashed on the front page of sporting news as fans weigh in about the old rules.
The injury, seen in slow motion by millions of people watching, looked quite intense. Adding that that head was hit by a very swift moving knee and there was concern of what long term effects this might have on the player. Alvaro Pereira insisted on returning to the game and keep playing, despite the advice of the doctors on the field and it is unknown if he had a concussion or not.
The player's union, Fifpro, is complaining to FIFA that necessary safeguards to protect athletes are not in place. Alvaro Pereira was no position to decide if he could or could not go back on the field. Because of the lack of rules surrounding such a hit, he ultimately won out to returning to the field to play.
Nobody expects that FIFA will roll out new rules surrounding concussions or protocols for massive injuries like seen during the Uruguay and England game, but after the World Cup is over there should be a serious discussion.