Headway – the brain injury association has hit out at the decision by Senegal to allow Sadio Mane to continue playing following a suspected concussion in his team’s Africa Cup of Nations match against Cape Verde.
The striker collided with Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha, who was sent off for the challenge and had to be helped off the pitch due to being visibly unsteady on his feet, seemingly as a result of the clash of heads.
Mane, however, remained on the pitch, despite seeming to lose consciousness in the incident. Six minutes later, he scored an excellent goal for Senegal, before laying down on the halfway line. It was only then that the player was substituted.
“On the face of it, this seems to be yet another example of football putting results ahead of player safety,” said Luke Griggs, Deputy Chief Executive of Headway.
“This was a sickening collision that clearly left both players in enough distress for a concussion to have surely been considered a possibility at the very least. At that point, the principle of ‘if in doubt, sit it out!’ should have resulted in Mane being substituted without another ball being kicked.
“The image of the player collapsing on the ground and having to be helped from the pitch after scoring his goal should tell you everything you need to know about the impact and the effect it had had on his brain.
“Yet again, the desire to win is seen as being worth serious risks to players’ health. It is simply shocking that this continues to happen.
“This is now a real test of leadership for The Confederation of African Football and world governing body Fifa – particularly if Senegal declare Mane fit for Sunday’s quarter final.
“If football wants to be taken seriously when it comes to concussion, it simply must take action to enforce and strengthen its protocols.”Back