Pereira's moment of madness

Last Updated 20 June 2014, 18:26 IST

When Uruguay’s Alvaro Pereira got up and staggered around after being knocked out cold in their World Cup game against England on Thursday, he insisted on playing on and his team let him.

The defender later admitted it was "a moment of madness".

Pereira was clattered in the face by England forward Raheem Sterling's knee an hour into the game and he lay unconscious as medical staff rubbed his chest and tried to revive him.

When he got up, staggering along the toughline, Pereira  furiously pushed away medical staff who wanted him substituted and he forced his way back on to the pitch.

While his coaches let him play out the final 30 minutes of the game and he drew praise from other Uruguayan players, Pereira himself conceded it was the wrong thing to do.

"It was a moment of madness... I've apologised to the doctor because I know it's his job to look after the players,"  Pereira told reporters after Uruguay won 2-1 with a Luis Suarez double. "I went back on dizzy. But in the heat of the moment with a hot head you don't think properly," he said.

"Still, it was a time to help the team and to get a result. And the most important thing is that we got the result."

The incident raised questions about whether Uruguay's bench took his head injury seriously enough.

Head injuries in sports have come under much closer scrutiny in recent years and campaigners quickly condemned the decision to let Pereira play on.

(Published 20 June 2014, 17:50 IST)

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