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FIFA thinks Morocco's decision to let Nordin Amrabat play after concussion is «questionable»

For FIFA, Morocco’s decision to let Nordin Amrabat play after he suffered a concussion is «questionable».

Moroccan winger Nordin Amrabat during the Morocco vs. Portugal game on June the 20th in Moscow, Russia./Ph. DR
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FIFA has sent Morocco national football team’s doctor a letter reminding him of their protocols after winger Nordin Amrabat was allowed to be part of the Morocco vs. Portugal game. The latter took place only five days after the player suffered a concussion, reports The Guardian on Thursday.

Moreover, the football governing body called the team’s decision «questionable», says the same source.

On Wednesday, Amrabat started the game against Portugal with a protecting scrum cap on the head but removed later. During Morocco’s World Cup game against Iran on Friday, the Moroccan-Dutch winger had to leave the field after he felt dazed and confused.

He was immediately transferred to a clinic in Saint Petersburg and had to spend the night there for a checkup.

Quickly after the game ended, the national team’s medical staff was highly criticized for the way they dealt with the player's injury. A viral video showed the Atlas Lions’ physio slapping Amrabat on the face and splashing his face with water.

Respecting FIFA's guidelines

«Following the questionable handling of the concussion incident involving the Moroccan player, [Nordin] Amrabat, during the Morocco-Iran match, Fifa wrote to the Moroccan team doctor to remind him of the importance to adhere to the guidelines that have been communicated», wrote FIFA in a statement.

«While the assessment and case management of concussion incidents falls under the sole responsibility of the respective team doctors, Fifa will address this matter with the Moroccan FA and, speaking in general terms, Fifa will monitor closely this matter throughout the competition», added FIFA.

The body will also demand the Royal Moroccan Football Federation to justify its decision and answer questions related to that.

Meanwhile, members of the FifPro, a worldwide representative organization for 65,000 professional footballers, slammed Morocco for letting Nordin Amrabat play regardless of his brain injury.

«Amrabat returned to action too soon according to medical guidelines», said the union. «Four years on from the debacle of the last World Cup, where several players did not receive adequate care, football has not made sufficient progress in concussion management. Repeated calls to implement world-class safety standards have been overlooked», argued the same source.

Speaking to media after yesterday’s match coach Hervé Renard said Nordin Amrabat was a «warrior», hailing his performance and strong determination. «He wanted to play», said Renard, adding that he removed his protector «because his spirit is amazing».

He also commented on the way the medical team has reacted to Amrabat’s concussion during the game against Iran, explaining that it was not his job to decide on medical issues, reported Reuters on Wednesday.

In a video published earlier this week the Atlas Lions’ doctor Abderazzak Hifti said that the player underwent the necessary examinations including a scanner that proved he was feeling good, adding that the medical team decided to place Amrabat under medical supervision for 24 hours.

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