2013 Lloris concussion moment catalyst to tackle 'serious problem'

Hugo Lloris

The moment when Romelu Lukaku crashed into Hugo Lloris appears the catalyst for impending law changes on concussion in football.

It is an incident that anyone watching will remember well, because of the sickening thud audible when bulky thigh crashed into solid skull at Goodison Park. Of course we are talking about the moment Romelu Lukaku went through on goal, only to be shut out by Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris in November 2013.

What happened next caused a massive debate regarding the health and safety of professional footballers. Everton striker Lukaku smashed into Tottenham stopper Lloris with his lower thigh, rendering the French stopper unconscious.

What happened afterward left Tottenham Hotspur under a cloud for a number of days. Lloris, despite seeming dazed and confused, refused to leave the field of play - despite not being in any fit state to make such a decision.

Tottenham doctors advised him to leave but Lloris was adamant he would continue. After the game there was widespread condemnation for Tottenham's medical staff and coach Andre Villas-Boas. they argued that their advice was for Lloris to come off, but that the player refused.

It sparked an interesting discussion on the subject of concussion in football, and now action appears to be being taken - with the Goodison incident seemingly the catalyst.

FIFA's chief medical officer Michel D'Hooghe has been speaking about concussion in the sport at the Soccerez Global Convention in Manchester - and has stated things are about to change:

"FIFA issued our first paper on concussion in 2003 and we have organised four concussion meetings, but it is true we have no strict rules, but we will have them if UEFA and FIFA approve it, and why not from October 1?

"In soccer we have a concussion case once in 20 games so it is not frequent, but that does not mean it is not a serious problem.

"Now the medical committee is proposing that where there is a suspected concussion the referee must stop the game for three minutes which will give the team doctor the chance to evaluate medically the condition of the player.

"The referee can only allow the player to continue with the green light of the team doctor. It will not be the decision of the coach or the player himself. After having a concussion the player is not able to judge his own situation."

And he referenced the Lukaku-Lloris moment in his statement:

"This [Lukaku-Lloris] was certainly one of the cases we brought into the discussion with the doctors, as well as World Cup cases and these cases played a part in making us want to change from 'medical guidance advice' to the strict medical rules I am proposing,"

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