Referee: Kramer was disoriented after blow to head
AP
Thursday 17 Jul 2014
165 Views

Germany midfielder Christoph Kramer was disoriented and confused after taking a heavy blow to the head early in the World Cup final, according to the match's referee.

''Shortly after the blow, Kramer came to me asking 'Ref, is this the final?''' Nicola Rizzoli told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday. ''I thought he was joking and made him repeat the question and then he said, 'I need to know if this is really the final.' When I said, 'Yes,' he concluded, 'Thanks, it was important to know that.'''

Rizzoli said he let Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger know about the exchange during Sunday's game but Kramer continued playing for 14 minutes following the collision with Argentina defender Ezequiel Garay.

He was eventually replaced in the 31st after slumping to the ground with a suspected concussion. Germany went on to beat Argentina 1-0 in extra time to lift the trophy.

Kramer's continuation in the game after suffering an apparent concussion revived concerns about the way football deals with the issue, as there were worrying head injuries for several other players earlier in the tournament.

Argentina players Javier Mascherano and Pablo Zabaleta also played on in their team's semifinal against the Netherlands after hard knocks to the head. And Uruguay defender Alvaro Pereira refused to leave the field after being hit in the head during the group stage.

The incidents have led to debate over whether FIFA should allow a temporary substitution so a player can get a head injury properly checked. FIFA medical chief D'Hooghe doesn't oppose the idea.

As for the rest of the match, Rizzoli defended his decision not to award a penalty to Argentina when Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer ventured to the edge of his area and jumped on top of forward Gonzalo Higuain to punch a dangerous ball away.

''I was wrong to give Germany a free kick. It was nothing,'' Rizzoli said. ''Why was it a penalty? Neuer went for the ball before the attacking player.''

Rizzoli also explained why he didn't show a second yellow card to Sergio Aguero late in the match when the Argentina forward challenged Schweinsteiger while leaping for a ball - leaving the midfielder with a bloodied face.

''I judged it involuntary and that's why it didn't warrant a yellow card,'' the Italian referee said. ''I could have been wrong.''

Javier Mascherano also already had a yellow card when he made a physical challenge on Schweinsteiger, but he escaped being sent off, too.

''It's important to look at players' reactions,'' Rizzoli said. ''We were in extra time and lucidness was at the minimum. ... In a fair final like the one in Rio, the referee can't become the protagonist by rapidly sending players off.''

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)





Short link:

 

Add Comment
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.