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Xinhua News Agency/PA Images Williams suffered a head injury during Wales' defeat to England.
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Wales defend decision to allow Neco Williams to play on after head injury
The Nottingham Forest full-back was dazed after blocking a powerful Marcus Rashford shot.

WALES MANAGER ROBERT Page has defended the decision to let Neco Williams play on after the Wales full-back suffered a head injury against England at the World Cup.

Williams was dazed and fell to the floor after blocking Marcus Rashford’s powerful 24th-minute shot with the top of his head.

The Nottingham Forest defender continued for another 12 minutes before sitting on the turf and receiving treatment again, before being eventually replaced by Connor Roberts in Wales’ 3-0 defeat.

Brain-injury charity Headway criticised the handling of the incident, saying “yet again medics are giving no options” while calling for the introduction of a temporary concussion rule.

Wales manager Page said Williams had been allowed to continue after initially passing Fifa’s concussion test.

He said: “Neco took a blow to the head, so there are protocols in place understandably with concussion. He passed the initial test.

“We followed the Fifa guidelines. The Fifa doctor okayed him to stay on the pitch, but he was advised if there was any symptoms then to flag it up straight away, and that’s what he did.

“There was no second thoughts at all, he was off straightaway. We’ve covered all the protocols and the Fifa guidelines.”

Headway, however, responded to the incident by tweeting: “YET AGAIN medics are given no options! A temporary concussion rule would have not resulted in Nico (sic) Williams being left on the pitch after #concussion. How many more?!”

Former England captain Alan Shearer, working as a television pundit on the game in Doha, backed Headway’s call for the immediate introduction of temporary concussion substitutions.

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Shearer told BBC One: “I would say to IFAB, ‘what on earth are you waiting for?’ because everyone is under pressure then to make a decision.

“You’ve got the doctors and the physios on the pitch trying to buy a little bit of time.

“If they were able to get him off for 10 minutes, assess him, bring someone on and then make their mind up there rather than be put under huge pressure on the pitch (it would be an improvement).”


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