Football not taking
concussion seriously, after Napoli goalkeeper
David Ospina collapses
Football has been accused of
failing to take concussion seriously by a brain injury
charity after Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina collapsed
during a match on Sunday.
Ospina, on loan at the Italian
club from Arsenal, fell to the turf in the Serie A
game with Udinese having earlier suffered a head
injury during a clash with opponent Ignacio Pussetto.
The incident involving the
Colombia international, who has since been discharged
from hospital and given the all clear, came after Lyon
keeper Anthony Lopes was temporarily allowed to
continue in last Wednesday’s Champions League game
against Barcelona after being injured when he dived at
the feet of Philippe Coutinho.
Charity Headway, which works
to improve life after brain injuries, has expressed
dismay and believes FIFA protocols are not being
“We are deeply shocked and
appalled at these latest examples of concussion
protocols not being followed in football,” said
Headway chief executive Peter McCabe.
“David Ospina’s treatment is
particularly concerning and highlights exactly why
we’ve always called for an ‘if in doubt, sit it out’
approach to concussion.
“FIFA’s protocols clearly
state that if concussion is suspected – not clinically
diagnosed – but suspected, the player should be
removed from the field and not allowed to return.
“This is to not only protect
the player from a secondary blow to the head, which
could exacerbate the injury, but also to recognise the
often delayed presentation of symptoms.
“Both players have been badly
let down and left unprotected by football’s failure to
take concussion seriously.
“There’s a real fear that it
will take a catastrophic injury to a high-profile
player before any real change in attitudes is
Ospina said on Monday evening
that he was “fine”, tweeting: “Thank you from the
bottom of my heart to everyone for your prayers and
your thoughts. I am fine and recovering with my
family. I hope to be back soon and stronger than
Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti
earlier tweeted that he had visited Ospina. The club
announced the 30-year-old was set for some rest and
would not be joining up with his country during the
“David Ospina was discharged
this afternoon from the Pineta Grande Clinic where he
had been hospitalised last night for a series of
investigations and specialist visits. All tests are
negative,” a statement from Napoli on the official
club website read.
“Visits excluded any problems.
The diagnosis is of vagal crisis [fainting] resolved
within a few hours. The player has been advised a few
days off and will not respond to the call-up of his
Arsenal's search for the
club's first-ever technical director took another
turn on Monday, as Marc Overmars signed a new deal
The former Arsenal winger has
been doing a stellar job with the Dutch giants and
emerged as a candidate for the Gunners.
But he has now tied his
long-term future to the Amsterdam club, inking a
five-year deal until 2024.
Club chiefs were desperate to
hand Overmars, who had 18 months left on his previous
contract, a new deal, following the clubs run to the
Champions League quarter-final.
As such, Overmars has seen his
basic salary doubled to £800,000-a-year, with a
lucrative bonus package on top.
Overmars has turned a profit
of more than £220million in the transfer market during
his time as the club's director of football.
Ajax president Leen Meijaard said: “Marc
has made a huge contribution to the club, both on the
football front and financially.
“We are absolutely thrilled to offer him
a new deal.”
And Overmars, who had emerged as
Arsenal's No.1 target after Monchi's return to
Sevilla, explained why he had elected to snub interest
from his former club.
"There are still plenty of challenges at
Ajax and I'm having a good time here," Overmars said.
"We are taking steps with both the youth
academy and the first team.
"From a sporting point of view, we still
want to show a lot. What is also important to me, is
that it is nice to work with the people around me.
"I get pleasure and satisfaction from
Overmars' decision to stay in Amsterdam
comes after Monchi elected to return to former club
The Spaniard left Roma by mutual consent
earlier this month and looked set for the Emirates.
But he instead elected to return to the
Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, with his comments after his
unveiling not going down well in Rome.
Former Gunners midfielder Steve Morrow,
now head of youth scouting, remains in contention for
Pontus Jansson’s absence
could speed up Gaetano Berardi’s Leeds United return
Pontus Jansson could miss
Leeds United’s games against Millwall and Birmingham
City after being sidelined for up to three weeks.
The defender began his rehabilitation
yesterday and is a major doubt for the club’s next two
fixtures with a knee injury suffered in Saturday’s 1-0
home defeat to Sheffield United.
Jansson withdrew from international duty
with Sweden yesterday to remain in England and undergo
treatment on damage sustained towards the end of a
tight derby at Elland Road.
He was hurt in a tackle on Sheffield
United striker Billy Sharp, but played on to the final
whistle in the absence of any remaining substitutes.
Jansson played up front towards the end
of the match with his mobility limited and was forced
to finish the game in goal after the dismissal of Kiko
Casilla in stoppage-time.
United have a two-week break before
their next match, at home to Millwall, and travel to
Birmingham the following weekend.
A statement from Leeds read: “Pontus
Jansson will not join up with the Swedish national
team during the international break.
“The centre-back suffered an injury to
his knee in Saturday’s game with Sheffield United,
which will see him sidelined for three weeks.
“Jansson will begin his rehab at Thorp
Arch with the Leeds United medical team this week.”
The Swede’s absence could hand Gaetano
Berardi a first start since the torn hamstring he
suffered in November.
Berardi completed a lengthy recovery
period last month and was on the bench at the weekend.
Writing on Instagram, Jansson said:
“Everything happens for a reason. Thanks for your
messages and see you soon.”
Goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell will
be recalled to Leeds starting line-up for their clash
with Millwall after the club chose not to appeal
Cristiano Ronaldo has been charged with
improper conduct by UEFA after his goal celebration in
Juventus’ Champions League win over Atletico Madrid.
The Portugal international was seen
gesturing towards fans – mimicking Diego Simeone from
the first leg after which the Atletico manager was
fined £17,000 for an “obscene” celebration.
It came after Ronaldo converted a late
penalty for his hat-trick and a 3-0 victory which sent
the Serie A side through on aggregate.
Ward-Prowse earn England call-ups amid drop outs
LONDON — Chelsea teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi was
called up by England for the first time, while
Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse was also
drafted into Gareth Southgate’s squad on Monday amid a
series of withdrawals due to injury.
Fabian Delph, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, John Stones and Luke
Shaw have pulled out for Euro 2020 qualifiers against
the Czech Republic and Montenegro.
Hudson-Odoi, 18, has yet to make a Premier League
start, but has impressed in cup competitions and the
Europa League for Chelsea, as well as fleeting
appearances off the bench in the top-flight and
attracted interest from German champions Bayern Munich
"It’s been a crazy day but getting my first (senior)
international call-up is an amazing feeling," said
Hudson-Odoi, who had just arrived in Bristol for his
first call-up to the England under-21 squad before
being told to head to the senior side’s training base
in the Midlands.
"I was shocked and then when I heard that I actually
had to go over, I couldn’t believe it. I was
delighted. It’s a dream come true."Now I’ve got to
work hard, enjoy every moment and keep working to just
hopefully make an impact when I get the opportunity."
Ward-Prowse has just one senior international cap but
is well-known to England boss Gareth Southgate from
their time together as manager and captain of
The 24-year-old has led Southampton’s battle for
Premier League survival with goals in his past three
games, including brilliant free-kicks against
Manchester United and Tottenham.
"We love Prowsey. I’ve been accused of being ’father
of Prowsey’ over the years," said Southgate when
announcing his squad last week.
"This most recent spell is his best spell since we
capped him before. He is a world-class deliverer of
There was better injury news for Southgate on Jordan
Henderson as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed
the midfielder will join up with the squad this week
after suffering an ankle injury in the Reds’ 3-1 win
over Bayern Munich last week.
"Hendo will go to the national team -- two or three
days at (Liverpool’s training ground) Melwood to do
the rehab, but it looks positive," said Klopp.
"If he plays, Gareth will decide then, but it’s really
"He was still not able to play today (Sunday) but it
was not that serious -- and now, in three or four
days, he should be fine."