Ospina’s collapse raises concerns over football’s protocol regarding concussions

Arsenal Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina was taken to hospital after collapsing during Napoli’s Serie A match against Udinese on Sunday. Ospina who is on a season-long loan at Napoli, suffered a cut to the head early in the first half after colliding with Udinese winger Ignacio Pussetto while tying to cut out a cross.

The Colombian received treatment for the injury sustained and carried on to play but later collapsed shortly before the break after Udinese leveled at 2-2 having been 2-0 down. Further treatment was administered before the 30-year-old was brought off the field. Napoli, who beat Udinese 4-2, later released a statement revealing that Ospina would remain in hospital overnight under observation.

“Fortunately it’s nothing serious, he’s conscious. They did a CAT scan that is negative” said coach Carlo Ancelotti at the after match press conference.

Colombian David Ospina receives treatment after sustaining a concussion

Medical experts call for overhaul in methods for dealing with on-field concussions 

Several campaigners including including Fifpro and Taylor Twellman, a former MLS player who was forced to retire following several serious head injuries, have been calling for football both to introduce temporary concussion substitutes to allow for longer off-field assessments and to put final decisions in the hands of an independent medic rather than a club doctor.

The Ospina injury follows a separate incident in the Champions League on Wednesday when Anthony Lopes, the Lyon goalkeeper, was allowed to continue following a collision with Philippe Coutinho and was then forced off.

The concussion debate was brought to light last year when Liverpool keeper Loris Karius suffered one upon a collision with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos during the UEFA Champions League final. The keepers performance was not only affected during the duration of the game which saw him make two errors leading to goals but expert even warned about the long term affects of such injuries going untreated.

“In terms of its immediate pitch side management and the way the medics are left to deal with this, they are handcuffed,” said Dr Willie Stewart a British neurologist in an interview with BBC.

“Football doesn’t allow an interchange for a player to be assessed to see if he has a brain injury; doesn’t allow significant time for the medics to assess the player; doesn’t have a video review of events to be able say if there was a glancing blow on my goalkeeper’s head which I didn’t notice” he added.

Brain injury experts have repeatedly issued warnings to the game’s top authorities to urgently overhaul their medical protocols after an increasing number of concussion occurrences.

Compiled by Shivayan Roy

(With inputs from BBC, The Telegraph and Sky Sports)