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What is the protocol for a concussion at the Qatar World Cup? Changes, injury time...

After what happened to the Iranian goalkeeper in the opening match against England, take a look into FIFA’s concussion protocols and how they work.

Iran's defender #03 Ehsan Hajsafi (L) speaks with his goalkeeper #01 Alireza Beiranvand following a crash of heads with Iran's defender #19 Majid Hosseini during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

Some 20 minutes into the World Cup fixture against England, Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand had to be subbed off after crashing into his defender when trying to stop a Harry Kane cross.

The starting goalkeeper for Carlos Quieroz’s side was down for over 10 minutes before continuing the game in a shock turnaround that drew criticism from Jermaine Jenas. Still, the Persepolis keeper went down once more just moments after play got underway, making a lot of worried faces on the Iranian bench and in the stands.

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Subbing Beiranvand did not cost the Iranian team regarding their five possible subs. Still, the newly established concussion protocol might prohibit the Iranian and the possibility of playing again at this tournament.

World Cup concussion protocol

FIFA brought a new concussion protocol ahead of this year’s World Cup, with teams now permitted to make an additional substitution.

In a situation when a player has suffered or is suspected of having sustained a concussion, teams will now be able to make a single permanent concussion substitution. To help make these decisions, medical staff will be at each game to review video footage to check if the injury is likely to have led to a concussion. This allows each country to put their players’ health first without affecting their five acceptable substitutions.

The opposing side will also be allowed an additional change to avoid any extra advantage for the team who uses a concussion sub.