Tottenham Branded ‘Irresponsible’ For Allowing Hugo Lloris To Play On After Being Knocked Unconscious

Chris Wright

4th, November 2013


By Chris Wright

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Tottenham Hotspur - Goodison Park

Tottenham have been branded “irresponsible” by a prominent brain injury charity after allowing ‘keeper Hugo Lloris to play for the last 20 or so minutes of yesterday’s goalless draw against Everton despite having been knocked out cold during a nasty collision with Romelu Lukaku’s galloping knee.

Lloris was clearly unconscious for a moment or three after the hideous-looking knock in the 78th minute and was, again, clearly wobbling around on spaghetti legs as play was halted for a further ten minutes while the French ‘keeper was given the once-over by the Spurs medical team. After convincing the medics he was okay to play on, Lloris returned to his station and saw out the rest of the game despite clearly being worse for wear.


It’s impossible for us to watch that without our thoughts immediately turning to the Petr Cech/Stephen Hunt incident. The manner in which Lloris’ neck snaps on contact with Lukaku’s knee is truly gruesome.

Indeed, after the game, AVB even admitted that Lloris couldn’t remember being hit by a Belgian tank, telling reporters: “Hugo still doesn’t remember the incident with Lukaku so he lost consciousness there, but he seemed assertive and determined to continue and showed great character and personality. We decided to keep him on based on that.”

However, Headway (a charity specialising in assisting victims of severe brain trauma) were quick to openly condemn Spurs after the game, criticising the club’s “irresponsible and cavalier attitude” to Lloris’ health – which is hard to argue with really. Lloris should’ve been taken straight off, no questions asked; never mind if he thinks he’s able to carry on or not.

Headway spokesman Luke Griggs told BBC Sport:

“When a player – or any individual – suffers a blow to the head that is severe enough for them to lose consciousness, it is vital they urgently seek appropriate medical attention.

“A physio or doctor treating a player on the pitch simply cannot accurately gauge the severity of the damage caused to the player’s brain in such a setting as there may be delayed presentation of symptoms.

“By continuing to play, the player may have caused greater damage to his brain. He should have been removed from the game immediately and taken to hospital for thorough tests and observation.

“Sports science has evolved significantly over the past decade and yet we’re still faced with the antiquated concept that a player should be brave and try to continue at all costs.

“Mr Villas-Boas’s comment that his player’s determination to play on was proof of his ‘great character and personality’ is simply wrong and dangerous.”

And who are we to argue with the experts?

Posted in Everton, Injuries, Newsnow, Tottenham Hotspur

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  1. Michael_D says:

    Do they have some sort of concussion protocol in the BPL? I know that in the US, particularly MLS and the NFL (I’m pretty sure the NBA and MLB have them as well) there are clear concussion protocols and if there is a concussion or the suspicion of one, the player is taken off and evaluated. Very unfortunate incident for Lloris, and dearly hope he has time to properly heal and come back with little to no ill effects.

  2. CR says:

    Don’t forget about the player running into Lloris. Lukaku was knocked out cold the other week and finished the match. Huge problem across the board.

  3. SL says:

    NHL players are required to take baseline tests each summer, they are only allowed to return after the test match their previous ones and they have a minimum time out, I bet Lloris will play the next game.

    A player got a concussion, played on and then collapsed and had to be stretchered to hospital just last week, stupid decision by the keeper, spurs and the ref.

  4. Nuno says:

    Problem is in football there’s the 3 substitution limit. Replacing a GK is usually seen as a ‘wasted’ substitution and rarely done (even more with a tied game entering its final stage).
    In most american sports there’s no subs limit (with only rules to when it may be done), so it’s easier to apply.
    Even if you tried to do something as “a concussed player taken off doesn’t count for the 3 limit”, you’d see how many players would be getting concussions all of a sudden…

  5. Scott says:

    I referee high school soccer matches in the US, and we referees, along with all players and coaches, are required to sign a concussion protocol form prior to the start of each season which basically says that in the event of a head injury, if the player exhibits any of a long list of concussion symptoms, he must be removed from the game regardless of whether he feels he can continue and cleared by a medical professional before playing in another match.

  6. Giancarlo says:

    This was hugely irresponsible and AVB’s comments were very inappropriate and wrong. I’ve suffered a concussion via soccer and it kept me with symptoms for 7 very long months, and I didn’t even lose consciousness. Lloris should’ve been taken off immediately no matter what. Every player wants to play on, especially professionals.

    There have been so many head injuries across all sports in the last 5-10 years that protocol should supersede anything. If they’re worried about 3 substitutions and not Lloris’ life than they should think twice about their character and Lloris should think twice about the club he is with.

    Perhaps a rule should be instated where a substitution for a head injury can be allowed despite the 3 subs. I know there could be a lot of feigned head injuries but wouldn’t it be visibly obvious that one occurred? When does a head injury go unnoticed? Especially if severe. Or, a team will have to play with 10 men, but no game is worth a life.

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