Does football need temporary substitutions? Brain injury charity Headway calls for change after Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen was helped off pitch following attempt to play on with gruesome head injury

Brain injury charity Headway has called for football’s authorities to introduce ‘temporary concussion substitutions’ after Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen tried to play on with a serious-looking head injury.

Spurs’ medical staff are facing questions after they allowed the Belgium defender to go back on to the pitch during their Champions League semi-final first-leg defeat by Ajax after lengthy treatment following a collision with team-mate Toby Alderweireld.

Vertonghen, whose face was bloodied, lasted a matter of seconds after his reintroduction before going down again, where he retched on the side of the pitch and had to be helped down the tunnel, unable to walk unaided.

The Premier League club later said that Vertonghen had passed all concussions tests and was fine, but the charity insists rolling substitutes would allow medical staff to make proper assessments of injured players.

Luke Griggs, spokesperson for Headway, said in a statement released to Press Association Sport: ‘We believe the time has come for football to introduce temporary concussion substitutions that would allow for longer off-pitch assessments to be conducted.

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