Brain charity slams decision to let Iran goalkeeper play with head injury at World Cup

The decision to let Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand play on against England after a head-on collision with a teammate has been branded an “utter disgrace” by brain injury charity Headway.

Beiranvand got a hand to a Harry Kane cross in the sides’ World Cup opener in Doha on Monday but in doing so collided face first with teammate Majid Hosseini and was in need of treatment for several minutes.

FOLLOW LIVE: England face Iran in Qatar World Cup opener

Incredibly, Beiranvand was allowed to play on despite the clash of heads leaving him with a bloodied nose.

Moments later, however, the former Royal Antwerp stopper was carried off on a stretcher to be replaced by Hossein Hosseini.

Luke Griggs, Headway’s interim chief executive, could not believe what he was witnessing.

He said in a statement issued to the PA news agency: “It is an utter disgrace that the Iran keeper Alireza Beiranvand was allowed to stay on the pitch.

“It was irrelevant that he came off a minute later, he shouldn’t have stayed on for a second, let alone a minute.

“He was clearly distressed and unfit to continue, this seems to be another case of the decision being made by the player and not medical staff.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

“This was the first test of the Fifa World Cup concussion protocol and it was an abject failure.”

The Professional Footballers’ Association said it was “devastating” for Beiranvand to have to come off so early in a World Cup but added: “We have seen a clear example, on the world’s biggest stage, of the current concussion protocols not being applied under match pressure.”

Fifa has yet to comment on the incident. The global governing body gives team doctors final responsibility to make the call on whether a player is fit to continue.

The team doctors of all 32 competing nations took part in a player health and well-being workshop organised by Fifa in Qatar in July, and Fifa also shared the concussion protocols with them.