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Benjamin Pavard has admitted losing consciousness for “10 t0 15 seconds” after the France defender was involved in a collision with Germany’s Robin Gosens in his side’s 1-0 victory in their opening match of Euro 2020 on Tuesday.
The Bayern Munich defender received treatment for several minutes in Munich after the incident in the second half but was allowed to continue. Pavard remained on the pitch for the whole match as Didier Deschamps’s side held on to record a win in Group F.
“I took a hell of a shock,” he told French broadcasters BeIN Sports. “I was a little knocked out for 10 to 15 seconds. After that, it was better.”
The decision not to withdraw Pavard was heavily criticised on social media, with many calling for him to be substituted immediately because of fears over concussion.
Earlier this week, all 24 teams at Euro 2020 signed a “concussion charter” that commits them to taking a series of measures to improve the care of players and includes neurological baseline testing and access to in-match television replays for team doctors. But a statement from FifPro, the world players’ union, called for the introduction of “a world-class concussion protocol” that would enforce a minimum six-day gradual return to play and pilot temporary concussion substitutions.
So far only five domestic leagues – those of England, the Netherlands, Portugal, Japan and USA – have trialled the use of concussion substitutes, with Uefa opting not to implement a trial in the Euros. However, concussion substitutes were permitted at the final phase of the under-21 championship in Hungary and Slovenia this year.