RYAN MASON was ‘shocked’ to see Arsenal’s David Luiz continue after a sickening clash of heads with Wolves’ Raul Jimenez on Sunday afternoon, and has insisted that protocols must be changed.
Luiz and Jimenez suffered a horrific clash of headsCredit: AP:Associated Press
Ryan Mason had his own career cut short by a devastating head injuryCredit: PA:Press Association
While the Mexican striker was stretchered off and taken for further treatment, however, the bloodied Luiz was bandaged up and passed to continue.
And Mason, 29, who was forced to retire in 2018 after suffering a horrific collision of his own, watched on in disbelief as Luiz, 33, was cleared to play on.
But rather than criticise the Gunners’ medical team, who followed procedure, Mason took aim at the protocols themselves.
The former Spurs and England midfielder told talkSPORT: “I was quite upset to see something like that happen on a football pitch again, it’s very concerning.
“It’s a real shame my incident didn’t change the perception; what is it really going to take for people to start realising this is something really, really serious?
“I’ll be honest, I was shocked David Luiz was allowed to play on.
“I’m not criticising the Arsenal doctor because there’s a protocol in place and I’m sure he’s followed that.
“But that protocol that is currently in place is not enough; it’s not enough just to have two or three minutes, it’s not enough.
Luiz was patched up and cleared to continueCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Luiz continued until half-timeCredit: EPA
“It was a bad one; the noise, the impact, the speed of the challenge as well – it was a bad one. It didn’t help that there were no fans and you could actually hear the point of contact.
“As a human being my first thought was are they both okay, and obviously one has come off worse than the other unfortunately.
“But I looked at that and thought immediately, neither of those players can play on.
“Sometimes you have to forget the protocol and have a bit of common sense.
“The game needs to change this rule. It’s pretty clear that five minutes on the side of the pitch while there is pressure to get the game restarted is not enough to see if someone is concussed or not.
“This current protocol we have in place isn’t okay and it’s dangerous.”
Jimenez required surgery for a fractured skullCredit: EPA
Mason suffered an accidental clash of heads with Gary Cahill in January 2017Credit: Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Luiz subsequently played on until half-time, before being replaced by Rob Holding for the second 45.
And Mason has called on concussion substitutes to be introduced, to allow a full, thorough examination by doctors.
He continued: “I’m all for bringing concussion subs in, I think that’s a good idea, to go off into a quiet room and test a player thoroughly and properly.
“The thought of someone playing on with concussion and heading balls in an incorrect way, the damage that could potentially do long-term is not a nice thought.
I hope this incident makes people realise, because you can’t keep having the same perception when people’s immediate and long-term health is in danger
“I’m very sensitive and I’m quite passionate about this subject, and I’ve spoken to many people about it over the last three years, but nothing had happened, nothing has changed.
“I hope this incident makes people realise, because you can’t keep having the same perception when people’s immediate and long-term health is in danger.”
Mason was forced to retired in February 2018, after it was deemed too risky for him to resume his playing career, following an accidental collision with Gary Cahill during a match for Hull City in January 2017.
He, like Jimenez, suffered a fractured skull, that he later described as feeling ‘like a bomb going off in my head’.
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