Football and concussion: Fabian Schar collision

Letting footballer Schlar play on described as “incredibly dangerous” by Headway and “ridiculous” by Alan Shearer.

  Newcastle player, Fabian Schlar, was knocked unconscious in Saturday’s Euro 2020 qualifier between Switzerland (Schlar’s team) and Georgia – and the decision to let him continue play has been strongly criticised. Brain injury charity Headway has demanded UEFA launches an investigation into the circumstances that resulted in Swiss player Fabian Schar being cleared to continue playing, just minutes after being knocked unconscious and needing emergency help from a member of the opposition (who is reported to have prevented the player from swallowing his tongue). Schar returned to the pitch minutes after the incident and later said ‘I can’t remember skull is still humming’. Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway, said: “What is it going to take to make football take concussion seriously? “How many more players will have their careers and, more importantly, their lives and long-term health put at risk by the sport’s inability to follow its own protocols? “Put simply, the decision to allow Fabian Schar to return to the field of play after suffering a clear concussion was not only incredibly dangerous, but also a clear dereliction of duty. “The player’s comments after the match are also deeply disturbing and again show the lack of awareness and understanding among players.   “UEFA must immediately launch an investigation into the incident and explain why their protocols were not followed.” The incident led to Alan Shearer, who made a documentary about football and dementia in 2017, called for the introduction of independent doctors at games. The Sun quoted Shearer, “There is no way in the world that Fabian Schar should have been allowed to play on. It’s ridiculous. “For games at the top level, there needs to be an independent doctor not connected to any country or any club. They can watch the footage and make a decision that is final. “If there is any doubt whatsoever, you get the player off the pitch. “There is no way an independent doctor would have allowed someone who was knocked out to carry on.” The Swiss Football Association removed Schlar from the team’s following game (last Tuesday) with team doctor Damian Meli saying: "Returning to the sport after such a collision takes some time, and it usually takes a few days for a player to progressively make an effort, a time that is missing between the two games against Georgia and Denmark." 
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