Brain injury charity Headway has slammed the decision to allow Sadio Mane to continue after sustaining a head injury in Senegal’s AFCON win over Cape Verde on Tuesday night.
Mane came up against Cape Verdean goalkeeper Vozinha as he chased down a kick from goalkeeper Edouard Mendy in the second half, leaving both players with head injuries.
Vozinha suffered a concussion and stumbled on the pitch for several minutes before being persuaded to leave by his teammates, and eventually given a red car by VAR for the incident.
Mane was allowed back on the pitch after receiving medical treatment and soon after scored a brilliant goal to put Senegal ahead in the 62nd minute.
However, as Mane celebrated with his teammates, he collapsed to the ground and then left the pitch shortly afterwards complaining of a headache and was taken to hospital.
Later on Tuesday, Mane and Vozinha were pictured together smiling and giving a thumbs up from the hospital. Mane was later released and joined his teammates at their hotel.
Speaking after Senegal’s win, head coach Aliou Cissé said of Mane’s condition: “I don’t know, but I hope he’s fine, he’s in hospital now. , we will see.
“I have no news from the doctors, I hope there is nothing serious, but in any case I cannot give any information on Sadio. He had a collision with the goalkeeper, he did not didn’t feel well, he was dizzy so he left [the pitch].”
“Winning is more important than player health again”
Sky Sports News contacted the Confederation of African Football for clarification over the concussion protocols which allowed Mane to remain on the pitch and which have been criticized by Luke Griggs, chief executive of brain injury charity Headway.
“On the face of it, this seems like another example of football putting results before player safety,” he said. “It was a sickening collision that clearly left both players distressed enough that a concussion was surely considered a possibility at the very least.
“At that time, the principle of ‘if you have any doubts, go your way!’ should have resulted in Mane being substituted without another ball being kicked. The image of the player collapsing to the ground and having to be helped from the pitch after scoring his goal should tell you all you need to know about impact and effect it had on his brain.
“Again, the desire to win is seen as a serious health threat to players. It’s just shocking that it continues to happen.
“Now is a real test of leadership for the Confederation of African Football and world governing body Fifa – particularly if Senegal declare Mane fit for Sunday’s quarter-final. If football is to be taken seriously when it comes to concussion, he just needs to take steps to enforce and reinforce his protocols.”
Substitute Bamba Dieng scored Senegal’s second goal in stoppage time against a stalwart Cape Verde side, who also sent off Patrick Andrade after 20 minutes.
It remains to be seen whether Mane will be able to play for the Teranga Lions in Sunday’s quarter-final against Mali or Equatorial Guinea.
Have the concussion rules been followed?
The Confederation of African Football medical protocols state that in the event of a suspected concussion, it is up to the team doctor to authorize a player’s return to play. Sky Sports News has contacted CAF for further information and clarifications.
What did FIFA say?
A FIFA spokesperson said: “FIFA takes its responsibility in relation to concussions in football very seriously, as protecting the health of players is – and will remain – a top priority in the development of the game.
“Following input from FIFA, consultation with key stakeholders and recommendations from the Concussion Expert Group (CEG) and the IFAB Technical and Football Advisory Committees (FAP-TAP). IFAB Annual Business Meeting (ABM) approved extensive trials with additional permanent surrogates for actual or suspected concussions starting in January 2021. Trials are expected to continue beyond the original end date (August 2022) to allow more relevant data to be collected.
Diao: Mane cleaned by doctors
Former Senegal and Liverpool midfielder Salif Diao has spoken to Mane and says the striker is set to play in the quarter-finals on Sunday.
“I spoke to him yesterday, just after he left the hospital, and he told me everything was clear,” Diao said. Sky Sports News. “From what I understand he has been cleared by the doctors and should be fine.”
AFCON 2021 quarter-final schedule and results
saturday 29 january
Quarter-final 1: Cameroon vs Gambia, 4 p.m. (Japoma Stadium, Douala) – Live on Sky Sports
Quarter-final 2: Burkina Faso vs Tunisia, 7 p.m. (Stade Roumde Adjia, Garoua) – Live on Sky Sports Premier League
Sunday January 30
Quarter-final 3: Winner of the round of 16 match 7 against Morocco, 4 p.m. (Stade d’Olembe, Yaoundé) – Live on Sky Sports Premier League
Quarter-final 4: Senegal vs round of 16 match 8, 7 p.m. (Japoma Stadium, Douala) – Live on Sky Sports Football
Sky Sports will broadcast AFCON live
The Africa Cup of Nations tournament will be shown live on Sky Sports in January and February.
The tournament, originally scheduled for June and July 2021, will be played in Cameroon between January 9 and February 6, 2022, with Sky Sports broadcasting all 52 matches live.
Twenty-four teams will participate, kicking off on January 9 as Cameroon host Burkina Faso in Yaoundé, before culminating in the final on February 6 in the capital.