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Schar collision sparks call for UEFA probe

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Schar collision sparks call for UEFA probe
Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United v Cardiff City - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 19, 2019 Newcastle United's Fabian Schar celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Scott Heppell   -   Copyright  SCOTT HEPPELL(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Switzerland defender Fabian Schar says he cannot remember a collision that left him unconscious in a Euro 2020 qualifier at the weekend and the incident has sparked calls for an investigation into why he was allowed to return to the game.

Schar was knocked out after colliding with Georgia’s Jemal Tabidze in the 24th minute of Switzerland’s 2-0 win on Saturday. He received treatment from Swiss medical staff before being allowed to play on.

After seeing a video replay of the incident, Schar said he had no memory of it.

“It looks awful. I can’t remember anything,” he told Swiss newspaper Blick. “I was out for a few seconds. My skull is still humming. I’ve got neck ache and a bruise on my forehead but it was worth it.”

Schar has since been ruled out of Switzerland’s qualifier against Denmark later on Tuesday.

“I really wanted to play and, as always, give everything to the team and Switzerland,” he said in a statement on the Swiss FA website confirming he would be rested.

Britain-based brain injury charity Headway called on European soccer’s governing body (UEFA) to investigate the incident.

Protecting players from concussion is part of a growing debate in sport and global players’ union FIFPro earlier this month criticised how professional football deals with concussion while pointing out failings in current protocols.

“How many more players will have their careers and … lives and long-term health put at risk by the sport’s inability to follow its own protocols?” the BBC quoted Headway Chief executive Peter McCabe as saying.

“Put simply, the decision to allow Fabian Schar to return to the field of play after suffering a clear concussion was not only incredibly dangerous, but also a clear dereliction of duty.

“The player’s comments after the match are also deeply disturbing and again show the lack of awareness and understanding among players. UEFA must immediately launch an investigation into the incident.”

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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