Union criticizes handling of head injury

Uruguay's Alvaro Pereira lies injured on the pitch after being hit in the head by the knee of...

Uruguay's Alvaro Pereira lies injured on the pitch after being hit in the head by the knee of England's Raheem Sterling during their World Cup match at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo on Thursday, June 19, 2014. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

Sun Wire Services

, Last Updated: 9:24 PM ET

Players who suffer suspected concussion during a game should be temporarily substituted while their condition is evaluated, the world soccer players’ union FIFPro said Friday.

Following Thursday’s incident at the World Cup involving Uruguay fullback Alvaro Pereira, who played on despite being knocked unconscious against England, FIFPro said independent doctors should be used to decide whether a player could continue.

Pereira took a knee to the head by England forward Raheem Sterling and lay motionless on the pitch as trainers tried to revive him.

When he got up, staggering along the sidelines, Pereira furiously pushed away medical staff who wanted him substituted and forced his way back into the game in what he admitted was a “moment of madness.” Uruguay won the match 2-1.

FIFPro called FIFA to conduct “a thorough investigation into its own competition concussion protocol” and said it was seeking urgent talks.

“FIFPro states that any sideline concussion assessment must not be conducted solely by a national team physician,” said FIFPro in a statement. “FIFPro also calls for a review of the laws of the game so that a player with a suspected concussion can be temporarily replaced while being diagnosed.”

TOURE SIBLING DIES

Ibrahim Toure, the younger brother of Ivory Coast pair Kolo and Yaya Toure has died in Manchester at 28 years old.

No further details were offered by the Ivorian Football Federation, but media outlets reported he died after a short battle with cancer.

“On this sad occasion, the players of the Ivory Coast national team as well as the entire Ivorian delegation in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup wish to demonstrate their compassion to the Toure brothers and Toure family,” IFF president Sidy Diallo said.

It is unlikely the Toure brothers will depart the World Cup following the death of their brother. Ivory Coast play their last Group C game in Fortaleza on Tuesday with a chance to qualify for the knockout stage.

Ibrahim Toure was also a professional soccer player but long in the shadow of his more illustrious siblings, having had a journeyman career in the Ivory Coast, Ukraine, France, Egypt and Lebanon. He never made any international appearances.

SPANISH BACK DEL BOSQUE

The Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) wants coach Vicente del Bosque to remain in the job despite the national team’s failure at the World Cup in Brazil.

Del Bosque, who is signed through the 2016 Euro Cup, said he would consider his position after the defending world champions lost their opening two Group B games to the Netherlands and Chile and were eliminated from the tournament.

RFEF boss Jorge Perez said there had not yet been any formal discussions about Del Bosque’s future.

“It is better to let some time elapse and wait to discuss things calmly in Madrid,” Perez said on Spanish radio.

“When Del Bosque signed the contract (to 2016) he said that if for any reason we thought he should not continue he would leave,” he added.

“Del Bosque has not presented his resignation and if he did we would ask him to carry on.”

MANDATORY BREAKS

A Brazilian judge Friday ordered FIFA to follow its own guidelines and stop play at all World Cup games every thirty minutes for a water break if the temperature is 32 C or higher.

Rogerio Neiva Pinheiro, a judge of Brazil’s Labor Court in Brasilia, also ordered that FIFA face a $90,000 fine for each game that it fails to comply with the water-break rule.

The suit was brought on behalf of players at the World Cup by independent government labor-code prosecutors who had sought a ruling imposing water breaks on the Brazilian labor-regulation standard of 30 C (86 Fahrenheit), the ruling said. FIFA dismissed the decision as largely irrelevant.

“We did not reach or exceed 32 degrees at any moment in any game so far,” FIFA spokesperson Delia Fischer told Reuters. “The court is only ordering us to follow our own procedures which we have always planned to do.”

FIFA did not say if it plans to challenge the ruling.

GOOD KOMPANY

Belgium captain Vincent Kompany has put a shirt he wore in his country’s opening World Cup match against Algeria up for sale in aid of charities he supports.

Kompany put the shirt, which he wore in the first half of Tuesday’s Group H match, on eBay and started the bidding at one euro. By Friday it had risen to 4,050 euros ($5,500). The auction ends Saturday.

Kompany, who is also the captain of Premier League champions Manchester City, made clear on his Twitter feed that the shirt could be shipped anywhere in the world, but did not state whether it had been washed since he wore it.

Belgium won the match 2-1 after falling behind following a first-half Algeria penalty kick.

Kompany, whose father was a Congolese immigrant to Belgium, said the proceeds would go to BX Brussels, the small club in his hometown in which he has invested, and to SOS Children’s Villages, which promotes child care, education and health in developing countries.

BEEF UP

Brazil will beef up policing for World Cup matches at Maracana Stadium in an attempt to prevent a repeat of a security breach this week when scores of ticketless Chile fans forced their way into the building.

Police officials said Friday they would bring in a further 600 trainee police officers and install an extra set of barriers for security checking at World Cup games.

On Wednesday, Chile fans pushed down a perimeter fence outside the stadium and dozens of people rushed into a media centre, desperately trying to find a way into the stands to watch their team play Spain.

The stadium is due to host a match between Belgium and Russia on Sunday and France against Ecuador on Wednesday. A second-round match, a quarter-final match and the final are also due to be played at the iconic Rio stadium.

LINESMAN DROPPED

A linesman who ruled out two goals for Mexico in their opening World Cup match against Cameroon has been taken off the refereeing team for an upcoming game.

Colombian assistant referee Humberto Clavijo controversially disallowed two first-half ‘goals’ for Mexico for offside in a game the North American side eventually won 1-0.

A FIFA spokesperson said the decision to replace Clavijo for Sunday’s Group H match between South Korea and Algeria was made by the organization’s refereeing committee. He will be replaced by Ecuadorean Christian Lescano.

HELLO PUTIN

Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the World Cup final on July 13 at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

“On July 13, it’s planned that the President will attend the final match of the World Cup. This is in connection with Russia hosting the next World Cup (in 2018) and the baton will be handed over to us by our Brazilian colleagues,” his personal assistant Yuri Ushakov said Friday.

Putin is also travelling to Brazil to take part in a BRICS (association of five major emerging national economies) summit, which will take place in the city of Fortaleza, Brazil, July 15.


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