Mon. May 23rd, 2022

Brain injury charity Headway has criticised the decision to allow Sadio Mane to continue after he suffered a head injury during Senegal’s AFCON win over Cape Verde on Tuesday evening.

Mane clashed with Cape Verde keeper Vozinha as he chased down a kick from keeper Edouard Mendy in the second half, leaving both players down with head injuries.

Vozinha was concussed and stumbled around the field for several minutes, before being persuaded to go off by his team-mates and was eventually given a red car by VAR for the incident.

Mane was allowed to come back on to the field after receiving medical attention and shortly afterwards scored a brilliant goal to give Senegal the lead in the 62nd minute.

However, as Mane celebrated with his team-mates, he collapsed to the ground and then left the field shortly afterwards, complaining of a headache and was taken to hospital.

Later on Tuesday, both Mane and Vozinha were pictured together smiling and giving the thumbs up from hospital. Mane was later discharged and rejoined his team-mates at their hotel.

On Wednesday, brain injury charity Headway criticised the decision to keep Mane on the pitch.

Luke Griggs, deputy chief executive of Headway, said: “On the face of it, this seems to be yet another example of football putting results ahead of player safety. This was a sickening collision that clearly left both players in enough distress for a concussion to have surely been considered a possibility at the very least. At that point, the principle of ‘if in doubt, sit it out!’ should have resulted in Mane being substituted without another ball being kicked.

“The image of the player collapsing on 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 the effect it had had on his brain.

“Yet again, the desire to win is seen as being worth serious risks to players’ health. It is simply shocking that this continues to happen.

“This is now a real test of leadership for The Confederation of African Football and world governing body Fifa – particularly if Senegal declare Mane fit for Sunday’s quarter-final. If football wants to be taken seriously when it comes to concussion, it simply must take action to enforce and strengthen its protocols.”

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Highlights of the Africa Cup of Nations match between Senegal and Cape Verde

Sky Sports News have contacted FIFA for comment.

Speaking after Senegal’s win, head coach Aliou Cisse said of Mane’s condition: “I don’t know, but I hope he is ok, he is in hospital now, we will see.

“I have no news from the doctors, I hope there is nothing serious, but in any case I can’t give any information on Sadio.

“He had a shock with the goalkeeper, he didn’t feel well, his head felt dizzy so he left [the pitch].”

Substitute Bamba Dieng scored Senegal’s second goal deep in stoppage time against a gallant Cape Verde side, who also had Patrick Andrade sent off after 20 minutes.

It remains to be seen whether Mane will be able to feature for the Lions of Teranga in the quarter-final on Sunday against either Mali or Equatorial Guinea.

HEADWAY STATEMENT

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Salif Diao says Senegal fans are expecting better performances from the team in AFCON after their 2-0 win over Cape Verde but the most important thing is to continue progressing through the tournament.

“On the face of it, this seems to be yet another example of football putting results ahead of player safety. This was a sickening collision that clearly left both players in enough distress for a concussion to have surely been considered a possibility at the very least. At that point, the principle of ‘if in doubt, sit it out!’ should have resulted in Mane being substituted without another ball being kicked.

“The image of the player collapsing on 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 the effect it had had on his brain.

“Yet again, the desire to win is seen as being worth serious risks to players’ health. It is simply shocking that this continues to happen.

“This is now a real test of leadership for The Confederation of African Football and world governing body Fifa – particularly if Senegal declare Mane fit for Sunday’s quarter final. If football wants to be taken seriously when it comes to concussion, it simply must take action to enforce and strengthen its protocols.”

AFCON 2021 quarter-final fixtures and results

Saturday January 29

Quarter-final 1: Cameroon vs Gambia, 4pm (Japoma Stadium, Douala) – Live on Sky Sports
Quarter-final 2: Burkina Faso vs Tunisia, 7pm (Roumde Adjia Stadium, Garoua) – Live on Sky Sports Premier League

Sunday January 30

Quarter-final 3: Round-of-16 game 7 winner vs Morocco, 4pm (Olembe Stadium, Yaounde) – Live on Sky Sports Premier League
Quarter-final 4: Senegal vs Round-of-16 game 8 winner, 7pm (Japoma Stadium, Douala) – Live on Sky Sports Football

Sky Sports to show AFCON live

The Africa Cup of Nations tournament will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in January and February.

The tournament, originally scheduled to be played in June and July 2021, will be played in Cameroon between January 9 and February 6, 2022, with Sky Sports showing all 52 games live.

Twenty-four teams will take part, kicking off on January 9 as hosts Cameroon host Burkina Faso in Yaounde, before culminating in the final on February 6 in the capital.

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