'Sadio Mane's health put at risk': Brain charity Headway criticises decision to keep Liverpool player on after clash of heads in Senegal's AFCON win

Sadio Mane suffered a clash of heads in Senegal's win over Cape Verde; Liverpool player stayed on the and pitch and scored before being subbed and taken to hospital; Headway have criticised the decision not to take Mane off sooner

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The Deputy Chief Executive of Headway Luke Griggs says it is important that all concussion protocols are followed to the letter, following the head injuries suffered by Sadio Mane and Vozinha in Senegal's win over Cape Verde on Tuesday.

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.

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

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 re-joined his team-mates at their hotel.

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.

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"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]."

'Winning more important than player health again'

Sky Sports News has contacted The Confederation of African Football for clarification on the concussion protocols which allowed Mane to remain on the pitch and which have been criticised by Luke Griggs, chief executive of brain injury charity Headway.

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Sadio Mane had to be substituted following a head collision that resulted in the Cape Verde goalkeeper being sent off

"On the face of it, this seems to be yet another example of football putting results ahead of player safety," he said. "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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Cape Verde saw two players sent off in their AFCON last-16 match against Senegal after VAR intervened on both occasions

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.

Were the concussion rules followed?

The Confederation of African Football's medical protocols state that if there is a suspected concussion it is down to the team doctor to authorise a player's return to play. Sky Sports News has contacted CAF for futher information and clarification.

What have FIFA said?

A FIFA spokesperson said: "FIFA takes its responsibility in relation to concussion in football very seriously as protecting the health of players is - and will remain - a top priority in developing the game.

"Following FIFA's input, consultation with key stakeholders and recommendations from the Concussion Expert Group (CEG) and The IFAB's Football and Technical Advisory Panels (FAP-TAP). The IFAB's Annual Business Meeting (ABM) approved extensive trials with additional permanent substitutions for actual or suspected concussion as of January 2021. The trials are expected to continue beyond the initial end date (August 2022) to be able to gather more relevant data.

Diao: Mane cleared by doctors

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Former Senegal player Salif Diao says that it was the right thing for Sadio Mane to come off eventually following his collision with the Cape Verde goalkeeper last night.

Former Senegal and Liverpool midfielder Salif Diao has spoken to Mane and said the forward is expected to play in Sunday's quarter-final.

"I spoke to him yesterday, just after he left the hospital, and he said everything was clear," Diao told Sky Sports News. "From what I understood he has been cleared by the doctors and should be OK."

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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