Emma Hayes says officials did not take Beth England’s head blows seriously

Phil Medlicott, PA
·2-min read

Chelsea forward Beth England will miss the Continental League Cup final against Bristol City after suffering a concussion in Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid, Blues boss Emma Hayes has revealed.

Hayes said England took “a couple of blows to the head” in the last-16 second-leg match in Monza and has expressed disappointment with the match’s officials, saying they “didn’t take seriously maybe some of those moments”.

The England international – scorer of both goals when Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-1 in last season’s League Cup final – was substituted just before half-time in Wednesday’s contest.

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said England took “a couple of blows to the head” in the Atletico Madrid match (Zac Goodwin/PA).
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said England took “a couple of blows to the head” in the Atletico Madrid match (Zac Goodwin/PA).

England, who Hayes said had been “groggy”, stayed in Italy while her team-mates went home on Wednesday. Having had a scan, the 26-year-old was due to fly back on Thursday afternoon.

Speaking at her pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s final at Vicarage Road, Hayes said: “Beth got a concussion and didn’t make it home with the team (on Wednesday night). That will be the only absence.

“She took a couple of blows to the head. I’m disappointed with the officials – I’m disappointed they didn’t take seriously maybe some of those moments.

“Thankfully her scan is clear, we’re in a good position. But she will be out at the weekend.”

When Hayes was asked if, with dementia being talked about a lot in men’s football, it should be the same in the women’s game, she said: “100 per cent. We should be talking about footballers regardless of gender.”

Hayes was then asked if she thought some women in the game do not take it seriously, and she said: “I don’t think it’s the women that have the problem about taking it seriously.

“I think it is making sure that the powers that be just continue to do the research to really find out the long-term impacts for both male and female football players.”