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Headway statement on Daniel James following last night’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Croatia

Written by on 14th October 2019

Brain injury charity Headway have criticised Wales manager Ryan Giggs for saying Daniel James was being “streetwise” following an aerial collision against Croatia.

The Manchester United winger received lengthy treatment, and passed concussion tests, after a heavy challenge during last night’s Euro 2020 qualifier.

Giggs claimed James was using his “nous” by staying down.

But Headway say it’s not acceptable for the concussion protocols to be used for “tactical gain”.

Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway – the brain injury association, said: 

Like most people watching the footage of the incident, our immediate concern was for the player’s health. As soon as the incident occurred, he was attended to by the medics who then determined that he was fit to continue.

Although it is argued that concussion protocols were followed, the rules state that if a concussion is suspected a player must be removed from the game. To all watching, it appeared that Daniel James lost consciousness. Regardless of his manager’s comments after the game, this in itself must surely have given enough reason to take a cautious approach.

However, Ryan Giggs’ claim that the player was being ‘streetwise’ by staying down and appearing to have been knocked out is shocking.

If that is the case and James was ‘acting’, it raises serious questions about the player’s understanding of the seriousness of concussion. Not only has he put his own medical team under intense and unfair scrutiny, but he’s also set a dangerous example for the millions watching at home.

Similarly, we have serious concerns about terms like ‘streetwise’ or that the player was ‘just using his nous’. It is simply not acceptable for teams to use concussion protocols for tactical gain.”

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