World Cup: Knocked out Pereira refuses sub
Uruguay defender Alvaro Pereira continues playing despite calls to be subbed after a knee to the head left him lying on the pitch seemingly unconscious.PT1M7S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3ahs2 620 349 June 20, 2014
If Uruguay's Alvaro Pereira was playing in the NRL or AFL, he would have been rubbed out of his side's do-or-die game against England in the 61st minute.
With Uruguay leading 1-0, Pereira copped an accidental knee to the head from England's attacking midfielder Raheem Sterling.
Pereira, who plays in the Portuguese first division, lay motionless on the ground and appeared to be unconscious.
Knocked out: Alvaro Pereira of Uruguay. Photo: Getty Images
Hate seeing doctors overruled with Pereira coming back on. World soccer clueless on concussions.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 19, 2014
Team medical staff quickly attended to Pereira and made the call to take him from the field due to his head injury, but when Pereira realised he was going to be subbed off he protested that he was fit to continue.
Uruguay were already playing without first-choice defenders Diego Lugano and Maxi Pereira (no relation) and Pereira overuled team medical staff orders by physically pushing them away and running back on the field to finish the game.
June 19, 2014
The collision: Raheem Sterling collects Pereira. Photo: Screengrab
The controversial incident and subsequent lack of authority that Uruguayan team doctors had, has sparked outrage on social media on Friday morning.
Many fans vented their frustration that FIFA are not not doing enough to protect players who suffer concussions during games.
It is understood however that FIFA does have an independent doctor at every venue for this World Cup who have the power to send players such as Pereira off the field if they suffer from symptoms of concussion.
Uruguay's doctor insisted Pereira come off. Player and coach overruled. That is irresponsible, culpable and disgraceful. #WaterMakesYouWeak— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) June 19, 2014
It comes after the NRL, this year, and the AFL, last year, implemented a new sideline concussion policy. In the NRL head trainers must check on a player involved in a "heavy contact incident" and remove him from the game if he displays one or more of the five symptoms outlined in their policy. In the AFL, a dazed player can be assessed for 20 minutes, undergoing an approved concussion test from his team's doctor. If the injured player is passed fit, he can return to the field of play. There is no rule automatically precluding a concussed player from not playing the following match.
However, under FIFA rules, if a player is replaced he cannot return to the field.
In Pereira's case, where the knock to the head was so blatant, the value of these doctors has been brought into question.
Pereira was clearly - clearly - out cold on his back needing to be revived. Now he's playing. That is just insane.— Sam Borden (@SamBorden) June 19, 2014
As with other contact sports, fans of the world game believe the decision should be taken from the player or coach and be put in the hands of a professional with no affiliation to either side.
Pereira's blatant disregard for medical attention sets a dangerous precedent in a sport where head clashes are common when players jump for the ball in a contest.