Headway charity hits out at UEFA

Calls come after Switzerland footballer Fabian Schar was allowed to continue playing after he was knocked unconscious in his team’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia

Brain injury charity, Headway has hit out at UEFA after Switzerland footballer Fabian Schar was allowed to continue playing after being knocked unconscious during his team’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia.

The defender was knocked unconscious when he collided with Georgia’s Jemal Tabidze in the 24th minute and required emergency assistance on the pitch, following the incident he was allowed to complete the full 90-minute match.

Headway chief executive Peter McCabe, said: “What is it going to take to make football take concussion seriously?”

Following the collision, Georgia’s Tabidze also remained motionless, with his shirt covered in blood, however he too continued playing with a bandage around his head before being substituted in the 60th minute.

Schar told Swiss newspaper, Blick: “It looks awful. I can’t remember anything. I was out for a few seconds. My skull is still humming. And I’ve got neck ache and a bruise on my forehead. But it was worth it.”

McCabe added: “How many more players will have their careers and, more importantly, their lives and long-term health put at risk by the sport’s inability to follow its own protocols? Put simply, the decision to allow Fabian Schar to return to the field of play after suffering a clear concussion was not only incredibly dangerous, but also a clear dereliction of duty.

“The player’s comments after the match are also deeply disturbing and again show the lack of awareness and understanding among players. UEFA must immediately launch an investigation into the incident and explain why their protocols were not followed.”

The medical department of the Swiss national team and of Schar’s club Newcastle United made a joint decision to withdraw the defender from his country’s next match against Denmark.

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