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World Cup

Why was Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand not initially substituted after suffering head injury during England clash?

13:51 GMT 21/11/2022
Alireza Beiranvand Iran England World Cup 2022
There was controversy in England’s opening game of the World Cup, with Iran keeper Alireza Beiranvand initially refusing to go off with a head injury.
  • Keeper flattened by his own player
  • Several minutes of medical attention
  • Only replaced after going down again

WHAT HAPPENED? Beiranvand collided with his own player when attempting to deal with a dangerous cross from the right wing, leaving him flat on the turf while sporting a bloodied face. After several minutes of medical attention, the Iranian No.1 decided that he was fit to continue – despite concussion protocol dictating that serious blows to the head should result in immediate withdrawal – with it only after going down again a few minutes later that he was finally replaced.

WHY DID BEIRANVAND STAY ON? FIFA concussion rules dictate that “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”. Said checks were carried out, but Beiranvand was still able to talk his way into staying on the pitch as medical staff bowed to his demands.

THE REACTION: Former England international Jermaine Jenas said while on commentary duty for BBC Sport: "I don’t see how him carrying on is right. This is ridiculous. It’s 2022 and we are having so many discussions about concussion protocols and how it can lead to dementia. This is not ok."