World Cup: Shoddy Medical Response To Nordin Amrabat Concussion Demonstrates Just How Far Behind Football Really Is (Video)

Chris Wright

15th, June 2018


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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.

Posted in Injuries, Videos, World Cup

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  1. JP says:

    Really think you’re reaching by trying to lay this at Fifa’s door.

    • Chris Wright says:

      Why? Concussion training, however basic, should be mandatory for all clubs even if it’s only a crash course (no pun intended) so players and physios at least have the first clue as to how to respond to head injuries.

      • JP says:

        So it’s Morocco’s fault.

        I’ll defer to your greater knowledge if you know better, but so far as I’m aware other sports’ governing bodies don’t do any more than fine teams if they don’t remove concussed players.

  2. Abdullah Haba says:

    Sorry but it wasn’t a hit to the head, if you see closely it was a direct shoulder to the heart. hence the eyes wide open when falling. his organs weren’t receiving enough blood to keep him going…

  3. Other Dave says:

    @JP – Why shouldn’t FIFA be responsible for drafting appropriate protocol for treating head injuries at its own events? FIFA (and soccer in general) is decades behind every other modern sport in addressing head trauma. There needs to be a neutral/independent medical professional available to address these situations that is not influenced by either team to get the player back on the field.

    @Chris – you can’t excuse the Moroccan medical staff, either. How does a medical professional not know how to appropriately treat a head injury? Slapping a player that was laying unconsciously on the ground 90 second prior is comically incompetent at least, and medical malpractice at worst.

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