Former Newcastle United captain Alan Shearer has hit out of the International Football Association Board’ after Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand suffered a serious injury in his side’s World Cup opener against England.
The stopper was assessed and treated for several minutes after being involved in a sickening collision with a team-mate as he cut out a cross from Three Lions captain Harry Kane. Despite looking visibly shaken with a concussion, Beiranvand was allowed to restart the game before he was finally substituted just three minutes later.
FIFA’s current concussion laws state: “The primary focus of the initial on-pitch assessment of a player who has sustained a head trauma during training or match play is to screen the player for concussion or a more severe head or cervical spine injury”. However, the Iran number one was allowed to stay on and that provoked fierce criticism from Magpies legend Shearer, who has been a long-term advocate of severe changes to the concussion protocol in the spot.
He told BBC Sport: “IFAB are failing the players here. This game is beamed all around the world in front of millions and millions of people. They have to bring a temporary substitution rule in because he should be off the pitch receiving his treatment and then the (substitute) goalkeeper can come on so he can be assessed for ten or fifteen minutes.
“Clearly he was never in any fit state. You’re never going to get a player to say ‘yeah, I want to come off’. Players will say they are fine and quite clearly he wasn’t fine. They’ve even introduced another person, a medical advisor, in the stands to look at video footage to give advice to medics around the pitch. What on earth is he doing?.
“They are failing players, IFAB, by not introducing a temporary substitution.”