Tottenham Hotspur criticized over handling of Hugo Lloris' head injury

Chris Brunskill

After suffering a scary head injury against Everton, Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has undergone scans to determine whether he is fit to play.

Some of the scariest events that happen in sporting events often center around head injuries and one of the scariest we've seen in a while occurred on Sunday when Romelu Lukaku's knee collided with Hugo Lloris' head. It seemed as though Lloris was briefly knocked unconscious by the blow, but somehow, Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas decided to allowed him to remain on the pitch.

Hugo still doesn't recall everything about the incident. I made the call to keep him on the pitch because of the signs he was giving." "He was determined to continue and looked concentrated, driven and focused enough for me not to make the call to replace him. The saves he did after the incident proved that right."

Additionally, Tottenham head of Medical Service Wayne Diesel said that the medical team determined that Hugo Lloris was good to continue.

"Once the relevant tests and assessments were carried out we were totally satisfied that he was fit to continue playing."

Tottenham have now come under fire, perhaps rightly so, from various health organizations. FIFA's chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak and a spokesman for the brain injury charity Headway have both said he should have been replaced and not allowed to return to action after the incident. Dvorak believes that there's a 99% chance that Lloris was concussed and as a result he should not have played.

It's a 99 per cent probability that losing consciousness in such an event will result in concussion."

"When he has been knocked unconscious, the player himself may not see the reality. I do not know the details but I know that the Premier League doctors are extremely good and I can imagine that the doctor may have recommended he be replaced."

"We have a slogan: if there is any doubt, keep the player out.

Luke Griggs, spokesman for Headway, a brain injury charity based in London, believes that no matter what the doctors and physios thought on the pitch, Lloris shouldn't have been allowed to continue.

"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."

As an American sports fan, it's crazy to me that the Premier League, UEFA, and FIFA don't have a strict concussion protocol. Had this happened in just about any American sporting event Lloris would not have been allowed anywhere near the pitch for the rest of the match. Michael Dawson's attempts to get Lloris off the pitch seemed to be the only sanity in what was the craziest thing I saw all weekend.

So, as we sit now, Lloris has had his scans and was cleared to travel back to London. That, however, is very different from being declared fit to play in any of Tottenham's upcoming matches. If nothing else, Spurs will likely keep Lloris out of their midweek fixture with against Tiraspol in the Europa League, but the Newcastle United match still seems up in the air.

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