There were alarming scenes during Friday’s second World Cup match when Morocco met Iran in the slightly less attractive Group A fixture of the day.
Mid-way through the second half, Moroccan winger Nordin Amrabat suffered a heavy concussion when he accidentally knocked heads with Iranian counterpart Vahid Amiri.
The pair were chasing a loose ball down the touchline when Amrabat sprinted into the back of Amiri, clashed skulls and then fell like dead weight to the floor…
After instantly fencing (the unnatural, subconscious movement of his arms and hands) as he lay prostrate and dazed, Amrabat was duly subbed off and replaced by his younger brother, Sofyan, but not before Morocco’s physios administered some truly and utterly inept first aid.
The ex-Watford midfielder was hauled up off the floor, twirled him around, squirted him with water and slapped – yes, slapped – several times in an almost cartoonish attempt to bring him to…
In the wake of the Loris Karius furore, the incompetent reaction to Amrabat’s clear and obvious symptoms once again demonstrates just how far behind football is when it comes to concussion and head trauma.
It’s difficult to lay too much blame at the door of the Moroccan medical team, who clearly didn’t have the first inkling of how to safely assess the nature of their player’s injury.
In this regard, FIFA should have been concerning themselves with addressing the vast schism between football and most other mainstream sports long before they began worrying about video-assisted referees, policing corporate-approved energy drinks and making sure everybody’s shorts match the colour of their compression tights.
After all, we’re talking about potentially critical brain injuries here. Appalling.