Ryan Giggs and Daniel James under fire over actions after head collision

• Brain injury charity Headway criticises manager and player
• Giggs says James passed concussion protocols at half-time

Ryan Giggs’s stance that Manchester United’s Daniel James was being “streetwise” when remaining down following a collision during Wales’s draw with Croatia has been criticised by the brain injury charity Headway.

James and Domagoj Vida were involved in an aerial challenge in the 14th minute of the 1-1 Euro qualifier draw at Cardiff on Sunday. The incident appeared serious and left James requiring treatment to his head for around three minutes before the 21-year-old played the remainder of the game. Giggs stated James had passed concussion protocols at half-time.

Peter McCabe, Headway’s chief executive, criticised the Wales manager and player. “If that is the case and James was ‘acting’, it raises serious questions about the player’s understanding of the seriousness of concussion,” he said. “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.

“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.”

Giggs had said: “The physio came over but there was no problem. We did all the tests at half-time and he was fine. He stayed down and was a bit streetwise. He told the doctors: ‘I’m not moving, I’m just sitting still.’ Not to get anyone sent off, he was just using his nous.”

James said he had not been concussed. He told Sky Sports: “I’m fine. I think he just caught me in the head but I didn’t get knocked out fortunately.”


Jamie Jackson

The GuardianTramp

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