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Headway shocked by Giggs concussion comments

Mon 14 Oct 2019

Headway has expressed its shock after hearing comments from Wales manager Ryan Giggs who said Daniel James was never knocked out or concussed but was "acting" during a match against Croatia at the weekend.

The Manchester United winger appeared to be out cold after a heavy mid-air collision with Domagoj Vida. Players and the referee immediately rushed to James and motioned for medical staff to attend to him, with images showing the 21-year-old flat on his back, arms and legs splayed.

James received a couple of minutes of treatment on the pitch before he was taken off and then immediately brought back on

Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway – the brain injury association, said: “Like most people watching the footage of the incident, our immediate concern was for the player’s health. As soon as the incident occurred, he was attended to by the medics who then determined that he was fit to continue.

“Although it is argued that concussion protocols were followed, the rules state that if a concussion is suspected a player must be removed from the game. To all watching, it appeared that Daniel James lost consciousness. Regardless of his manager’s comments after the game, this in itself must surely have given enough reason to take a cautious approach.

“However, Ryan Giggs’ claim that the player was being ‘streetwise’ by staying down and appearing to have been knocked out is shocking.

“If that is the case and James was ‘acting’, it raises serious questions about the player’s understanding of the seriousness of concussion. Not only has he put his own medical team under intense and unfair scrutiny, but he’s also set a dangerous example for the millions watching at home.

“Similarly, we have serious concerns about terms like ‘streetwise’ or that the player was ‘just using his nous’. It is simply not acceptable for teams to use concussion protocols for tactical gain.”

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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