Ederson’s delayed substitution in Manchester City win criticised by head injury charity


Brain charity Headway has voiced concern over the delayed substitution of Ederson during Manchester City’s Premier League victory at Tottenham Hotspur, saying “it is hard to fathom” why he wasn’t taken off immediately.

The 30-year-old goalkeeper was involved in a severe collision with Spurs defender Cristian Romero during the second half of the 2-0 victory.

Ederson received extensive on-field treatment and despite being assessed by City’s club doctors, he was allowed to remain on the field.

The Brazilian was then replaced by Stefan Ortega several minutes later and was visibly frustrated as he was brought off.

City manager Pep Guardiola later stated that Ederson did not have concussion and instead “had a problem with his eye”. Headway, however, did not understand why more precautionary measures were taken, once again calling for the introduction of temporary concussion substitutions.

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Luke Griggs, chief executive of Headway, said in a statement: “The fundamental principle of any concussion protocol is ‘if in doubt, sit it out.’

“The concern from players of both teams in the immediate aftermath of the injury, as well as from the medical team and the fact a stretcher was brought onto the pitch, would suggest a clear concern for Ederson’s wellbeing.

“The fact that he was not immediately removed would suggest a concussion was not suspected, this is hard to understand especially as symptoms can be delayed in their presentation.

“While we were relieved to see the player taken off a few minutes later, it is hard to fathom why this was not an immediate decision.

“It is yet another example of when a temporary concussion substitute would have been helpful.

“Ederson’s angry reaction is no surprise given the competitive nature of players who want to take part in massive games like this one, though his reaction underscores the need to take such decisions out of the players’ hands.”

In 2023, the International Football Advisory Board (IFAB) declined to trial temporary concussion substitutions, to the “disappointment” of the Premier League. The decision also drew criticism from the MLS players’ union, which accused FIFA and IFAB of being “short-sighted and misguided”.

In 2021, IFAB introduced a trial for permanent substitutions, but it faced widespread criticism. Numerous cases emerged where players sustained head injuries, continued playing, and were only substituted later or not at all, fuelling calls for the adoption of temporary concussion substitutes.

Two goals from Erling Haaland, meanwhile, has left City on the cusp of securing their fourth Premier League title in a row.

They play West Ham United on Sunday, knowing a win at Etihad Stadium will clinch the trophy.

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(Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)



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