Lloris treatment exposes 'ignorant' Villas-Boas as top doctor calls for rule changes

The goalkeeper was concussed after colliding with Romelu Lukaku and a medical expert has urged the Premier League to readdress safety laws
Liverpool's former medical chief Peter Brukner has hit out at Andre Villas-Boas’ handling of Hugo Lloris after the Tottenham goalkeeper suffered a severe head injury against Everton.

The 26-year-old collided with Romelu Lukaku in Sunday’s goalless draw at Goodison Park but was allowed to continue despite being knocked unconscious by the striker’s knee.

Anfield's former head of sports medicine and sports science feels the Spurs boss handled the situation poorly, and has urged the Football Association and Premier League to readdress the treatment of concussion in football.

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"I feel very strongly and I think all my colleagues do as well and we’re very angry at what happened [on Sunday]," Brukner told Goal.

"It was obviously the wrong decision, Lloris was clearly concussed – he was knocked unconscious. It’s all been agreed now it’s not appropriate to let a player back onto the field of play once he’s been concussed.

"That’s clearly what the Tottenham doctors wanted to happen yesterday, but they were overruled by Villas-Boas. Suddenly a manager knows more than a qualified sports medicine doctor about the state of an injury. It’s totally unacceptable, and typical of the Premier League.

"Lukaku himself scored a goal against West Ham after being concussed, and he doesn't even remember it. Here’s a guy who has obviously got some brain dysfunction – if your brain’s functioning, you remember things.

"You wouldn’t send someone out with a broken leg, so why are you sending someone out with a broken brain?"

The Professional Footballers' Association has called for an investigation into laws regarding concussion in football, and Brukner believes more education is needed for clubs and managers.

"Obviously [Lloris] feels fine, he wants to go back on, Villas-Boas wants to get on," he continued. "The doctors were clearly trying to get him off and they were overruled, and that’s absolutely inappropriate in that situation.

"It just shows a lack of knowledge among people like Villas-Boas. I think there needs to be an education programme for all managers.

"The sad thing was in Villas-Boas’ statement after the game that Lloris made some good saves and that showed that he was ok. That’s not the issue – he doesn’t understand that it’s not the short-term problem, it’s the long-term problem.

"[Lloris'] brain needs to be rested to recover, and being on a football field is not a very good way to rest it."

Brukner - currently the team doctor of Australia's cricket side - suggests clubs who continue to ignore medical advice should face punishment, but believes the unstable nature of the Premier League makes effective treatment difficult.

"Let’s see if we can convince them by logic and explanation before punishment, but ultimately if the clubs are thumbing their nose at medical science, then there needs to be some way of enforcing it," he added.

"The problem is there’s so much job insecurity in the Premier League, and the manager can fire medical staff whenever he feels like it, there’s a reluctance of the medical staff to stand up and insist on looking after the health of the players."