Questions about FIFA’s concussion protocol were initially raised in the group stage of the World Cup when Uruguay defender Alvaro Pereira refused to leave the field after being hit in the head by an England opponent’s knee. Pereira lay motionless for a short while and appeared to be briefly unconscious, but was still allowed to come back onto the field and continue playing. Uruguay team doctor Alberto Pan initially made hand signals for a substitution but then seemingly changed his mind after the clearly dizzy player furiously protested. The images provoked criticism from professional players’ union FIFPro, head injury specialists and others. Pereira later said the blow knocked him out and “was like the lights went out.” “I was also not happy with that situation. I must confess that,” said Michel D’Hooghe, a member of the FIFA executive board and chairman of its medical committee.
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