Ryan Giggs, Headway continue war of words over Daniel James incident
Headway chief: "I am surprised that Ryan Giggs has chosen to revisit this issue and put the player and himself under further scrutiny"
Last Updated: 06/11/19 3:19pm
Wales boss Ryan Giggs and brain injury charity Headway have continued their war of words following an apparent concussion incident involving Manchester United winger Daniel James against Croatia last month.
Giggs prompted a strong rebuke from Headway in October after calling James "streetwise" for staying down following a heavy collision during the Euro 2020 qualifier - and both sides have resisted the issue this week.
James looked as if he had been knocked out and would have to be substituted when a stretcher was sent onto the pitch, but he was able to rejoin the action after receiving lengthy treatment from medics.
Giggs said James was "just using his nous" and had passed concussion protocols to continue playing in the 1-1 draw in Cardiff.
But Headway chief executive Peter McCabe branded Giggs' comments "shocking", saying the incident had placed Wales' medical team under unfair scrutiny and that it was not acceptable for teams to use concussion protocols for tactical gain.
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Asked if he regretted his comments, Giggs replied: "I don't know about regret, but maybe I could have worded it a little bit differently.
"As a manager I should be used to it, but I was a little bit frustrated that after two good performances I was having to talk about someone who didn't get concussion. I want to talk about football."
On Headway's response, Giggs said: "I was quite surprised that they didn't mention Ethan (Ampadu), who did come off with a head injury. An organisation like that not having faith in our medical department, which is outstanding.
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"We brought Joe Allen out of a huge game (the 2018 World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland) and Kieffer Moore had five stitches in the game before.
"Nothing gets said about that, the easy target is Dan James because he plays for Man United. It creates headlines."
Giggs said Headway had not contacted him or the Football Association of Wales since the Croatia game on October 13.
"It's disappointing because they are questioning an outstanding medical department that are here and dealing with the situation," he said.
"It was just frustrating that in the couple of days after the game we were talking about that rather than two really good football performances."
Headway release second statement
However, Headway released a second statement on Wednesday, insisting that they were never critical of Wales' medical team and accused Giggs and James of setting a "poor example" for others.
"I am surprised that Ryan Giggs has chosen to revisit this issue and put the player and himself under further scrutiny," Headway chief McCabe said.
"Concussion is too serious an issue to allow play-acting and feigning injury to go unchallenged. Head injuries must always be taken seriously.
"Our criticism was aimed squarely at Daniel James and Ryan Giggs. At no point did we criticise the medical team, who followed the protocol and did their job. Indeed, we described their actions in treating Ethan Ampadu in the same game as exemplary.
"This incident is not about the medical team. It's about a player and a manager setting a poor example and in doing so jeopardising the introduction of concussion substitutes.
"Those opposed to this measure to protect the health and safety of players have suggested that teams may abuse the system for tactical advantage. The behaviour on show on 13 October lends credence to that argument."
Watch Azerbaijan vs Wales on November 16 - coverage begins on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event from 4.15pm