Hugo Lloris faces further medical examination
The Spurs goalkeeper wants to play in the club’s Europa League match on Thursday
Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.
Goalkeeper Lloris was knocked unconscious in an accidental collision with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku in Sunday’s goalless draw at Goodison Park.
Controversially, Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas allowed Lloris to remain on the field of play for the remaining 12 minutes of the game.
The France keeper and the rest of his Spurs team-mates were given two days off following the match, but they will all report to the club’s Enfield base on Wednesday morning to begin preparations for the Europa League meeting at White Hart Lane on Thursday.
Lloris travelled down to London on Sunday after brain scans revealed no signs of long-term damage, but he will undergo further assessment at Enfield before a decision is made on whether he should play on Thursday night.
Brad Friedel started the majority of Tottenham’s Europa League matches last term, but it is understood that Lloris told Villas-Boas at the start of the season that he wanted to play in the competition this year.
Nevertheless, it would be understandable if the Tottenham manager gave Lloris the night off, especially as a draw against the Moldovan minnows is likely to be enough to see Spurs through to the knockout stages.
There was a strong backlash against Villas-Boas’ decision to not substitute Lloris.
Fifa’s chief medical officer, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and international players’ union FIFPro all condemned the decision.
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: “I watched the incident on television and I was surprised to say the least that he was allowed to stay on.
“We are very concerned that the protocol that involves concussed players was not adhered to and I raised this at the meeting with the professional game’s stakeholders, and the decision was taken to remind all clubs of the protocol.
“Managers should not take these decisions in the heat of the moment and that needs reinforcing.”
Lloris was unable to remember the incident and was taken for a brain scan but given the all-clear.
Questions remain, though, over Villas-Boas’ decision. Immediately after the match he told Sky Sports: “The medical department was giving me signs that the player couldn’t carry on, because he couldn’t remember where he was.”
In a statement, however, Tottenham said medical staff were “totally satisfied that he was fit to continue playing”.
Tottenham’s head of medical services Wayne Diesel said: “Once the relevant tests and assessments were carried out, we were totally satisfied that he was fit to continue playing.”
The physical nature of the Premier League dictates that top-flight footballers can be in danger of being knocked out on the field of play, but the problem is far more widespread in rugby.
Later this month the International Rugby Board (IRB) will host a medical conference to discuss the treatment of concussion in its sport.