Alan Shearer calls for temporary concussion subs after Neco Williams incident

Alan Shearer has called for the immediate introduction of temporary concussion substitutions after Wales defender Neco Williams was initially allowed to play on having suffered a head injury against England at the World Cup.

Full-back Williams was dazed and fell to the floor in the first half of the Group B game in Qatar after blocking a powerful Marcus Rashford shot with the top of his head.

The 21-year-old Nottingham Forest player received treatment on the field and then continued before eventually being replaced by Connor Roberts.

BBC pundit Alan Shearer called for change
BBC pundit Alan Shearer called for change (Adam Davy/PA)

Brain injury charity Headway criticised the handling of the incident, while former England captain Shearer called on the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to enact prompt change.

“It has to come,” Shearer, speaking on BBC One, said of temporary subs.

“I would say to IFAB, ‘what on earth are you waiting for?’ because everyone is under pressure then to make a decision.

“You’ve got the doctors and the physios on the pitch trying to buy a little bit of time.

“If they were able to get him off for 10 minutes, assess him, bring someone on and then make their mind up there rather than be put under huge pressure on the pitch (it would be an improvement).

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“What on earth, are IFAB waiting for? Do it now.”

Williams was assessed by medical staff at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium after being floored by Rashford’s powerful effort but, despite his discomfort, did not leave the pitch straight away.

There was also concussion controversy in England’s opening game of the tournament when Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand initially continued after a head-on collision with a team-mate.

Headway tweeted: “YET AGAIN medics are given no options! A temporary concussion rule would have not resulted in Nico (sic) Williams being left on the pitch after #concussion. How many more?! #ENGWAL”.