World Cup concussion subs: Protocols and rules affecting head injuries in Qatar

Adrien Rabiot was subbed in the World Cup final after a clash of heads

Alex Pattle
Sunday 18 December 2022 17:14 GMT
England team kneel before first World Cup game

Teams at the Qatar World Cup will be able to make an extra substitution if a player ‘has suffered or is suspected to have suffered’ a concussion.

Each side is typically allowed five substitutions in a game at the tournament, however there are exceptions.

An additional change is permitted if a match enters extra time in the knockout stages, or if a player is believed to have sustained a concussion.

Only one concussion-related substitution is allowed per team, however, and the opposing side is to be granted their own extra subtitution in such instances – so as to avoid any advantage being gained.

Medical staff are also able to review concussion-related incidents on video in order to provide the appropriate treatement to the player in question.

In England’s Group B opener in Qatar, Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand was substituted on 10 minutes after a clash of heads with his own defender.

Beiranvand had tried to continue playing after the incident but ultimately left the pitch on a stretcher, as he was replaced by Hossein Hosseini.

Iran were then left with five more possible substitutions in the group game, per the concussion protocol.

Later in the match, England defender Harry Maguire was replaced amid a number of substitutions made by coach Gareth Southgate, with the Manchester United centre back looking out of sorts before leaving the pitch.

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