RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- The world players union on Friday accused World Cup organizer FIFA of failing to protect Uruguay midfielder Alvaro Pereira after he played on following a hard blow to the head that he said felt "like the lights went out. Sports Jerseys Sale
." Pereira lay motionless after colliding with Raheem Sterlings knee in the 61st minute of Uruguays 2-1 victory on Thursday. Even though he appeared like a punch-drunk boxer, Pereira ultimately was allowed to return in the 63rd minute. The union urged FIFA "to conduct a thorough investigation into its own competition concussion protocol which failed to protect Uruguayan footballer Alvaro Pereira." It asked for "urgent talks and immediate assurances that FIFA can guarantee the safety of the players." It also suggested possible rule changes so players suspected of being concussed can be temporarily substituted while theyre diagnosed. "Football is awash with incidents in which players suffer potentially concussive blows to the head and stay on the pitch. In Pereiras case, he demanded to play on, overruling advice from Uruguays team physician for him to be immediately substituted," FIFPro said in a statement. "FIFPro understands that in certain moments, faced by the pressures of such an important international stage, many players would react in this way. There are times, however, when the players also require greater protection against the prospect of making any rash decisions." As he slid for a ball just outside Uruguays penalty area, Pereiras temple inadvertently struck Sterlings left knee. "After the hit, I only recall that I was unconscious for an instant," he said. "It was like the lights went out a little bit." Teammates surrounding the motionless player signalled for a stretcher. Team medical staff came onto the field. Pereira wobbled to the sideline. Uruguay physician Dr. Alberto Pan signalled for a substitution. Pereira seemed to be having trouble maintaining his balance. He argued and angrily wagged a finger to signal he didnt want to be substituted. "I said sorry a thousand times to the doctor because I was dizzy. It was that moment your adrenaline flowing in your body, maybe without thinking ... what I really wanted to do was to help get the result," the 28-year-old Sao Paulo FC player recalled. "What really matters is that everything is OK. Nothing happened. It was just a scare". Pereira said a team doctor and a FIFA physician checked him after the match. There was no immediate confirmation on whether he sustained a concussion, a subject that is slowly moving up the agenda in the sport. FIFPro said it would monitor Pereiras health on Friday. "He must be subjected to further evaluation and follow-up procedures that help determine if and when he can return to training," it said. The union said it also is considering appointing its own independent doctors "for all future FIFA competitions." "The World Cup must set the standard for player health and safety to educate the international football community. Medical evidence shows that a person faces the risk of very serious brain injury, or worse, if he or she suffers a severe head trauma from a concussive blow," FIFPro said. "Furthermore, FIFPro states any sideline concussion assessment must not be conducted solely by a national team physician. In order to ensure real independence, FIFPros involvement, as the international authority representing the interests of the players, would ensure they are insulated at all times." In the English Premier League, Tottenham came under scrutiny in November for an incident involving goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Currently with the France squad at the World Cup, Lloris was allowed to play on after he was briefly knocked unconscious during a game after colliding with Evertons Romelu Lukaku, despite medical advice he leave the match. Cheap Sports Jerseys
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. "Last year we were in a ton of situations, late-game situations we couldnt pull out. Wed kind of fold under the pressure, get frustrated or let a big shot frustrate us," guard DeMar DeRozan said.ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - The NFLs officiating chief has cleared Broncos receiver Wes Welker of any wrongdoing for his hit that knocked Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib out of Sundays AFC Championship. "It was a legal hit," Vice-President of Officiating Dean Blandino said on the NFL Network on Wednesday night. On Monday, New England coach Bill Belichick blasted Welker for the hit, calling it "one of the worst plays" hed seen in nearly four decades of coaching. Without mentioning his former player by name, Belichick said it "was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib, no attempt to get open." He added, "Ill let the league handle the discipline on that play." There will be no discipline for Welker; Blandino said there was simply no infraction of the rules. Welker, coming from the right, collided with Talib, who was running from the left to stay with his receiver, a split-second before Peyton Mannings pass went off the hands of receiver Demaryius Thomas a few yards away in the first quarter Sunday. No flag was thrown. Talib left the game with a knee injury and didnt return, and Manning threw for 400 yards in Denvers 26-16 win that sent the top-seeded Broncos to the Super Bowl. "The first potential foul would be for offensive pass interference; a receiver cant block downfield before the ball is touched, so the timing is important," Blandino said on his weekly appearance on the NFL Network. He noted that as "contact occurs, the ball is touched almost simultaneously. We dont have a foul for pass interference." "The other thing, is it unnecessary roughness? Under the current rules it isnt," Blandino said. "Its not late; Talib wasnt out of the play." Given that an injury occurred, Blandino said he expeects the leagues competition committee to examine the play in the off-season "and determine if there needs to be a change. Discount Sports Jerseys
. But under the current rules, this is a legal play." Welker, who had a cool relationship with Belichick before leaving New England as a free agent last off-season, hasnt been available for comment this week as the Broncos wont practice until Thursday. But after the game, Welker said, "it was one of those plays where its kind of a rub play and I was trying to get him to go over the top, and I think he was thinking the same thing and wanted to come underneath and we just kind of collided. ... It wasnt a deal where I was trying to hit him or anything like that." Broncos coach John Fox responded to Belichicks stinging criticism on Monday by saying Welker is a "a great player, high integrity. I can say that we were not doing anything with intent." At 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds, Welker is 4 inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter than Talib. Hes also wearing a special helmet to guard against further head injury after missing the final month of the season with his second concussion. Hes also never been known as a dirty player. Patriots safety Steve Gregory said he didnt think Welker would deliberately try to hurt a player, saying, "I dont think anybody plays that way, especially at this level of football with two great football teams in the Broncos and ourselves." Blandino said he has spoken with Belichick this week about the play "and obviously there is a difference of opinion there and something that well continue to look at during the off-season." ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org ___ Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton ' ' '