Senegal have been criticised after Sadio Mane continued playing despite suffering suspected concussion in a “sickening collision” with Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha.
Mane remained on the pitch for several minutes despite appearing to sustain a head injury in the incident during Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations match .
The Liverpool striker scored before eventually being substituted.
Brain injury association Headway said Mane’s health had been put at risk.
“On the face of it, this seems to be yet another example of football putting results ahead of player safety,” said Luke Griggs, deputy chief executive of Headway.
“This was a sickening collision that clearly left both players in enough distress for a concussion to have surely been considered a possibility at the very least. At that point, the principle of ‘if in doubt, sit it out!’ should have resulted in Mane being substituted without another ball being kicked.”
“The image of the player collapsing on the ground and having to be helped from the pitch after scoring his goal should tell you everything you need to know about the impact and the effect it had had on his brain,” added Griggs.
“Yet again, the desire to win is seen as being worth serious risks to players’ health. It is simply shocking that this continues to happen.
“This is now a real test of leadership for The Confederation of African Football (Caf) and world governing body Fifa – particularly if Senegal declare Mane fit for Sunday’s quarter final.
“If football wants to be taken seriously when it comes to concussion, it simply must take action to enforce and strengthen its protocols.”