Alireza Beiranvand is in the penalty area after suffering a head injury and will later be substituted.Image: AP / Pavel Golovkin
For footballers, the World Cup is the biggest and most important sporting event. That’s why many professionals would do anything to play in the biggest tournament in the world. That ambition caused a shake of the head in the first match of Group B between England and Iran at the World Cup.
In the eighth minute Iran’s goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand collided with Majid Hosseini from a cross and then lay down for a long time, holding his head. At first it looked as if Beiranvand would not be able to play again, with substitute goalkeeper Seyed Hossein Hosseini warming up.
Commentator criticizes the lack of substitution
ZDF commentator Oliver Schmidt was also certain that Beiranvand would leave the field. However, Beiranvand wanted to continue playing and initially did so.
Oliver Schmidt’s reaction was clear afterwards. “Guys, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s about the health of a competitive athlete,” he criticized the FIFA regulations and the Iranian supervisors. He then added: “Even at a World Cup it doesn’t make sense. Only the doctor can decide and to be honest: Alireza Beiranvand is making the decisions himself and that’s unreasonable.”
But that’s not all. Schmidt then continued his monologue, calling for an “independent doctor, as is the case in other sports”. At the same time, Schmidt didn’t want to blame Beiranvand at all, “but you can’t leave the decision to him.”
Among other things, Schmidt refers to the fact that in American football, after a head injury, players first have to go through a certain protocol in which independent doctors decide whether the players are allowed to return to the field or not.
Beiranvand (left) and Majid Hosseini collided in the eighth minute.Image: AP / Alessandra Tarantino
However, Beiranvand continued playing briefly before sitting down again and signaling that he wanted to be substituted. Finally, Hosseini made his first World Cup appearance.
After all: At the World Cup, teams were allowed to change six instead of five times in the event of a head injury. Accordingly, the Beiranvand replacement will probably not be deducted from the Iranian change contingent.