Benjamin Pavard: Uefa asks France why defender played on after concussion in Euro 2020 game

The Bayern Munich defender continued despite losing consciousness after suffering a head injury

Andrew Gamble
Thursday 17 June 2021 10:29
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Euro 2020: Daily briefing

Uefa has contacted the French Football Federation to understand why France right back Benjamin Pavard was allowed to continue playing against Germany at Euro 2020 – despite briefly losing consciousness.

The Bayern Munich defender collided with the hip of German player Robin Gosens in the second half of France’s 1-0 win. Uefa wants to know exactly what happened and whether the correct protocols were followed.

Pavard said: “I took a hell of a shock. I was a little knocked out for 10 to 15 seconds. After that it was better.”

The European governing body are keen to understand why Pavard was not withdrawn from the game, particularly because before Euro 2020, all teams – including doctors – agreed to a concussion charter that clearly states if a player is suspected of having suffered a concussion, he will be removed from the pitch.

The outcry from the incident has been severe, with brain charity Headway denouncing the handling of Pavard’s injury as ‘sickening to watch’. The charity have called on Uefa to immediately explain how it was allowed to happen and what action it will take to ensure a similar incident does not occur in the future.

Headway chief executive Peter McCabe said: “This is another example of football authorities failing to protect the short and long-term health of a player.

“It was plain for all to see that Pavard was unable to protect himself from the fall. Pavard’s later statement that he lost consciousness confirms the seriousness of the incident.

“We have continuously been told that football’s concussion protocols are fit for purpose and that temporary concussion substitutes are not necessary – but here we have yet another example where it is simply not credible to suggest that a concussion could not be ‘suspected’ or a possible consequence of the impact.”

Global players’ union FIFPro claimed it was in touch with Uefa to establish why the concussion charter was not properly applied. The body have called for football to use temporary concussion substitutes so that players can be replaced while they are being assessed for head injuries by medical staff.

Concussion substitutes were trialled in England and other countries around Europe, allowing a player to be permanently replaced after suffering a suspected head injury.

Uefa is not carrying out a trial during the European Championship despite using the protocol in the recent under-21 tournament, won by Germany.

Elsewhere in Group F, Uefa received a report of a homophobic banner at the Euro 2020 match between Hungary and Portugal in Budapest on Tuesday.

Images of the sign spread across social media before being picked up by anti-discrimination group Fare. Fare also criticised Hungary as their fans booed the Republic of Ireland for taking the knee – an anti-racism gesture – during their pre-tournament friendly in Budapest on 8 June.

The flag was particularly pertinent as, despite strong criticism from human rights groups and opposition parties, Hungary’s parliament passed legislation on Tuesday that bans the distribution of content in schools deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change.

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