Brain injury charity hits out at move to let Mané play on after clash of heads

·2-min read

A brain injury charity hit out on Wednesday at a decision to allow the Senegal striker Sadio Mané to continue playing after he collided with the Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha during their last-16 match in Bafoussam.

Both players fell to the ground in the 56th minute at the Stade Kouelong and received treatment.

Vozinha was sent off for charging out of his area to prevent Mané from reaching a through ball.

Mané got up and played on to score Senegal's opener in the 63rd minute before collapsing to the floor after a video check to confirm the goal's validity.

The 29-year-old Liverpool striker was substituted.

“On the face of it, this seems to be yet another example of football putting results ahead of player safety,” said Luke Griggs, deputy chief executive of the British-based association Headway.

Danger

“This was a sickening collision that clearly left both players in enough distress for a concussion to have surely been considered a possibility at the very least.

"At that point, the principle of: ‘if in doubt, sit it out!’ should have resulted in Mané being substituted without another ball being kicked."

The Confederation of African Football which organises the Cup of Nations said the appropriate checks were undertaken during the match which Senegal eventually won 2-0 to advance to the last eight.

“The image of the player collapsing on the ground and having to be helped from the pitch after scoring his goal should tell you everything you need to know about the impact and the effect it had had on his brain," added Griggs

Test

“Yet again, the desire to win is seen as being worth serious risks to players’ health. It is simply shocking that this continues to happen.

“This is now a real test of leadership for the Confederation of African Football and world governing body Fifa – particularly if Senegal declare Mané fit for Sunday’s quarter final.

“If football wants to be taken seriously when it comes to concussion, it simply must take action to enforce and strengthen its protocols.”

Mané later published a picture on social media of himself and Vozinha in hospital.

"Everything is OK," he said. "Thank you for your messages of support."

On Sunday in Douala, Senegal will play either Mali or Equatorial Guinea for a place in the semi-finals.

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