Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

Players union upset at FIFA over Uruguayan's head injury

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — The world players union accused World Cup organizer FIFA on Friday of failing to protect Uruguay midfielder Alvaro Pereira after he played on following a hard blow to the head he said felt "like the lights went out."

Pereira lay motionless after colliding with Raheem Sterling in the 61st minute of Uruguay's 2-1 victory against England on Thursday. He was allowed to return in the 63rd minute.

The union said FIFA's protocol for assessing concussions "failed to protect" Pereira. It called for "a thorough investigation."

Pereira acknowledged he was briefly knocked unconscious then felt dizzy, but FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said: "The neurological examination by the team's physician clearly showed that it's normal and that allowed him to return." FIFA, also the sport's world governing body, and Uruguay's doctors will closely monitor Pereira, she said.

Hodgson asked to stay: England's Football Association asked coach Roy Hodgson to remain until 2016 despite the team being eliminated at the group stage for the first time since 1958.

England has lost to Italy and Uruguay, and its hopes of advancing from Group D ended Friday when Italy lost 1-0 to Costa Rica.

"We're supportive of Roy Hodgson. We've asked him to stay as manager," FA chairman Greg Dyke said. England's final group game is Tuesday against Costa Rica.

"I'm bitterly disappointed, of course, but I don't feel I need to resign," Hodgson said.

Toures' brother dies: The younger brother of Ivory Coast players Yaya and Kolo Toure died Thursday, the day his siblings played their second game of the tournament. Ibrahim Toure, 28, died in England, the Ivorian federation said in a statement. Yaya and Kolo were told soon after Ivory Coast's 2-1 loss to Colombia. The IFF did not give a cause of death but said Ibrahim died in Manchester, where Yaya plays for English champion Manchester City. British media reported that Ibrahim, also a soccer player, was battling cancer.

Infighting: Cameroon's federation was investigating what it called "disgraceful behavior" by some players in Thursday's 4-0 loss to Croatia, including defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto's head-butt of teammate Benjamin Moukandjo.

Mexican coach defends chant: Mexico coach Miguel Herrera defended fans chanting a gay slur that has caused an investigation by FIFA. Mexico fans shouting the slur as the rival team's goalkeeper takes a goal kick is "not that bad," Herrera said. "We're with our fans." Fare, the European fan-monitoring group, reported the chants at Mexico's 1-0 win over Cameroon in Natal.

Water works: A Brazilian court ordered FIFA to introduce mandatory breaks for players in matches played in high temperatures. A labor court in the capital of Brasilia issued a temporary injunction saying the breaks are required near the 30th minute of each half so players can hydrate. The breaks are now mandatory when temperatures reach 89.6 Fahrenheit in the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature index, which takes into account factors such as cloud cover, wind, humidity and location.

Around the grounds: FIFA said its monitoring of World Cup warm-up matches revealed no suspicious betting linked to match fixing. Several exhibitions before the 2010 World Cup, including some involving host South Africa, were later found to have been fixed by corrupt officials. … Spain coach Vicente del Bosque remained mum over his future despite public backing from his federation. With Wednesday's loss to Chile, Spain became the first defending champion to be out of contention after just two group games.

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