Arsenal criticised for allowing David Luiz to play on after head injury 9 months ago

Arsenal criticised for allowing David Luiz to play on after head injury

Luiz played on until he was taken off at half-time

Arsenal have faced heavy criticism for their decision to allow defender David Luiz to continue to play against Wolverhampton Wanderers despite suffering a head injury early in the first half.

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The Brazilian centre-back clashed heads with Wolves striker Raul Jimenez early in the match at the Emirates Stadium, a clash which left both players on the ground for an extended period of time.

While Luiz was on his feet receiving treatment after a couple of minutes, the Mexican forward was removed from the field on a stretcher and brought to hospital.

Later in the evening, Sky Sports reported that he was conscious and responding to treatment.

Having left the pitch during an extended delay which saw 10 minutes of injury time added onto the first half, Luiz was checked by the Arsenal medical team and returned with a bandage on his head.

While he appeared to be suffering no apparent ill effects, the extent of the impact and the speed which with he was checked led to a slew of criticisms of the club for allowing him to return, especially as the bandage on his head later became soaked with blood.

Chris Sutton, the former Blackburn and Norwich striker whose father - the former footballer Mike - suffers from dementia, questioned how adequately the check carried out on Luiz could have been.

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The criticism of Arsenal comes at a time when English football's authorities are being forced to confront the reality of the sport's links with brain injuries and dementia.

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A number of former high profile former footballers - most recently Manchester United and England legend Bobby Charlton - have been diagnosed with dementia in recent years, and Sutton is among a number of ex-pros who has called on the Professional Footballers' Association to take the issue more seriously.

Speaking on Match of the Day 2 on Sunday night, former players Alan Shearer and Jermaine Jenas spoke passionately about the need for football's authorities to immediately implement proper concussion protocols in the game.

They both called for the introduction of head injury substitutes in football, something which is common in a variety of other sports including rugby union, league and cricket.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta defended the decision to allow Luiz to continue, saying that he had passed the concussion protocol.