‘It’s a joke!’ – Farce as Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand tries to continue after head clash, then collapses
There were farcical scenes during Iran’s World Cup opener against England on Tuesday when goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand tried to carry on after a head clash, only to then collapse and be taken off on a stretcher.
Beiranvand was involved in a clash of heads with one of his defenders when he came out to tip away a cross from England captain Harry Kane.
Beiranvand's touch stopped a clear chance of a goal, but he was left floored after the nasty-looking collision.
Once he got up it was immediately clear that he was not able to carry on despite lengthy attention from the medical staff.
Reserve goalkeeper Hossein Hosseini began warming up and it seemed as if a change would be made, but Beiranvand, who is one of Iran’s most important players, waved it away, saying he would carry on.
BBC co-commentator Jermaine Jenas was incredulous, saying “it’s a joke” and adding: “I think this is where the medical team just have to step in and say it's not right. Make the change.”
As it became clearer that the Beiranvand was going to play on, former England midfielder Jenas couldn’t believe what he was watching.
“If Beiranvand has to miss 10 days for his health and his safety, then so be it. That's why these protocols are in place.
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“I don't see how him carrying on is right. This is ridiculous. It's almost as if he's been forced to carry on here.
“It's 2022 and we are having so many discussions about concussion protocols and how it can lead to dementia. This is not ok.”
Beiranvand changed his shirt and carried on but within minutes he was on the floor, clearly feeling the after-effects of the head clash.
He signalled that he needed to come off and was carried off on a stretcher.
Then Iran finally made the change, bringing Hosseini on.