Football concussion protocol: what happened to Iran goalkeeper in World Cup match vs England - FIFA protocol

Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand was substituted just minutes into the World Cup 2022 match with England in Qatar

Alireza Beiranvand’s World Cup could be over after the goalkeeper was substituted with a suspected concussion in Iran’s opening match against England in Qatar.

Beiranvand, known for his long throws, got a hand to an inviting Harry Kane centre but collided with teammate Majid Hosseini as a result of trying to keep the Three Lions at bay. The clash saw both players receive treatment on the pitch and a lengthy delay at Khalifa stadium.

Iran’s stopper Beiranvand had blood running from his nose and looked visibly shaken. To everyone’s surprise, he carried on briefly before going down and being stretchered off with Seyed Hosseini coming on in his place and picking the ball out of his net three times before half time.

Iran face Wales on Friday 25 November and the USA on Tuesday 29 November in their remaining World Cup games. Beiranvand, however, is unlikely to feature before the group stage is completed, meaning if Iran fail to progress his Qatar 2022 campaign will be over - just 19 minutes after it began.

Here’s all you need to know about FIFA’s World Cup protocol.

What is the World Cup concussion protocol?

New guidelines mean each team in the Qatar 2022 World Cup is now allowed to make an additional substitution if a player has suffered or is suspected of having a concussion. FIFA has allowed teams to make a permanent concussion substitution in addition to five subs.

What does this mean for the opposing team?

If a team uses the extra concussion sub as outlined above then the opposing team will also be allowed to make an additional substitution. The decision was made to avoid any extra advantage one team might have over another, or clamp down on tactical subs.

Has this rule been used anywhere else?

The Premier League and EFL have already introduced a concussion protocol following a trial period in early 2021, meaning a further permanent substitution can be made for players who have suffered or suspect to have suffered a concussion.

How long does a concussion last?

The FA outline a six step protocol, with each one taking at least one day, which means the player cannot return to play for at least 6 days after the injury. The player should undergo regular checks and receive an ‘all clear’ from the club medical team before returning to play.

While FIFA’s Medical Concussion Protocol outlines a similar timeframe: “The Graduated Return-to-Football Programme comprises six stages with a progressive increase in physical demands (“aerobic” to “anaerobic”, “no resistance” to “resistance”), football-specific exercises (“simple” to “complex”), and the risk of contact (“individualised” to “team training”, “non-contact” to “full contact”) and head impact (“no heading” to “heading”).

“Each stage should include at least one training session and last a minimum of 24 hours. In the event of worsening or recurring symptoms during or after a training session at any stage, the player should rest until these symptoms have resolved (for a minimum of 24 hours) and then continue the programme at the previous symptom-free stage.

“The player should only be medically cleared to return to match play when each stage has been completed without symptoms. With younger players and players with certain risk factors, such as a history of repetitive concussive injuries, a more conservative approach must be followed.”