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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 followed.
“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 forthcoming.”
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 ever!”
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 international break.
“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 national team.”

David Ospina

Arsenal's search for the club's first-ever technical director took another turn on Monday, as Marc Overmars signed a new deal at Ajax.

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 that."

Overmars' decision to stay in Amsterdam comes after Monchi elected to return to former club Sevilla.

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 the role.


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 Casilla’s dismissal.

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.

Pontus Jansson

Hudson-Odoi, 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 in January.

"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 England’s under-21s.

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 set-plays."

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 positive.

"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."