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Players should not continue after loss of consciousness

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The PFA has called for players to be automatically removed from the field of play if they lose consciousness as a result of a severe trauma to the head.

Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris briefly lost consciousness in yesterday's goalless draw at Goodison Park, after a collision with Romelu Lukaku late in the second half.

Initially it appeared that Lloris would be replaced by Brad Friedel, however after a lengthy delay the French goalkeeper appeared determined to continue and Tottenham decided against making the substitution.

PFA deputy chief executive John Bramhall believes that football needs to remove the decision making process when trying to assess whether a player who has lost consciousness is fit to continue a game.

Bramhall stated: "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."

Bramhall added: "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."

World players' union FIFPro has labelled the decision 'unacceptable' with Medical Advisor Vincent Gouttebarge saying: "The health and safety of the players should be the number one priority and should prevail against any other matters."

Professor Jiri Dvorak has reiterated FIFA's guidelines that state if there is any doubt about concussion then the player should be removed from the field of play.


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