SPORT: Football
Senegal accused of putting the life of Sadio Mané in danger.

Sene­gal have been crit­i­cized after Sadio Mane con­tin­ued to play despite suf­fer­ing a sus­pect­ed con­cus­sion in a ‘sick­en­ing col­li­sion’ with Cape Verde goal­keep­er Vozinha.

Mane remained on the pitch for sev­er­al min­utes as he appeared to have suf­fered a head injury dur­ing the inci­dent in Tues­day’s Africa Cup of Nations game.

The Liv­er­pool strik­er scored before even­tu­al­ly being substituted.

The Head­way Brain Injury Asso­ci­a­tion said Mane’s health had been put at risk.

“On the face of it, this appears to be anoth­er exam­ple of foot­ball putting results before play­er safe­ty,” said Luke Grig­gs, assis­tant gen­er­al man­ag­er at Headway.

“It was a sick­en­ing col­li­sion that clear­ly left both play­ers dis­tressed enough that a con­cus­sion was sure­ly con­sid­ered a pos­si­bil­i­ty at the very least. At this point the prin­ci­ple of ‘when in doubt, rest easy!’ should have result­ed in Mane being sub­sti­tut­ed with­out anoth­er ball being kicked.”

Voz­in­ha was sent off for the chal­lenge with Mane and had to be helped off the pitch when he was vis­i­bly unsteady on his feet.

Mane, how­ev­er, remained on the pitch, despite appear­ing to lose con­scious­ness dur­ing the inci­dent. Six min­utes lat­er, he scored an excel­lent goal for Sene­gal, before lying down on the halfway line.

Only then was he replaced.

“The image of the play­er col­laps­ing to the ground and hav­ing to be helped from the pitch after scor­ing his goal should tell you every­thing you need to know about the impact and effect it had on his brain,” said added Griggs.

“Again, the desire to win is seen as a seri­ous health threat to play­ers. It’s just shock­ing that it con­tin­ues to happen.”

“Now is a real test of lead­er­ship for the Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball (Caf) and world gov­ern­ing body Fifa — espe­cial­ly if Sene­gal declare Mane fit for Sun­day’s quarter-finals.

“If foot­ball is to be tak­en seri­ous­ly when it comes to con­cus­sion, it sim­ply needs to take steps to enforce and rein­force its protocols.”

In a state­ment from the Sene­galese fed­er­a­tion, team doc­tor Dr Abdourah­mane Fedior said Mane had been ‘sub­sti­tut­ed due to the dizzi­ness he had on the pitch’ after scoring.

“After that, we felt it was safer to take him to the hos­pi­tal for a scan which revealed no brain dam­age or bone dam­age. We left the hos­pi­tal a few moments lat­er and went at the hotel. For now, he feels fine.

“All the symp­toms he had on the pitch have dis­ap­peared. This how­ev­er needs to be fol­lowed close­ly and we will see in two days how he is feeling.

“He needs to rest and get back to train­ing step by step.”

The Liv­er­pool med­ical team will speak to their Sene­galese coun­ter­parts about Mane’s con­di­tion, although it is nor­mal to have reg­u­lar con­tact with all inter­na­tion­al teams, par­tic­u­lar­ly when a play­er is injured.

Sene­gal cap­tain Kali­dou Koulibaly has denied that Mane’s health was put at risk by being allowed to con­tin­ue playing.

“It was­n’t risky at all. He was the one who scored the goal after that,” the Napoli defend­er said.

“When we saw after the goal that he was a bit dis­ori­ent­ed we pre­ferred to replace him. I asked him if he want­ed to leave the pitch and he said yes. ”

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