Concussions in soccer are becoming more evident, as seen in the World Cup final. Germany’s Christoph Kramer was injured in a shoulder-to-head collision during the first half. He appeared concussed to the average viewer. Kramer even told the German newspaper Die Walt, “I can’t really remember much of the game.”Germany’s medical staff evaluated Kramer on the sideline and returned him to the match. Approximately 15 minutes, later Kramer fell down on the field and was subsequently substituted.
FIFA’s concussion management protocol is based on Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport: the 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport, which is the gold standard for concussion management. The SCAT 3 and pocket SCAT 2 are the concussion tools used to evaluate athletes suspected of having a concussion. According to the consensus statement, if it is determined that the athlete has suffered a concussion, he is immediately removed from the game and may not play for a minimum of one week.
Did Kramer pass his sideline testing? Was the German staff not competent in assessing his concussion? Did they return him to play despite having a concussion?
From my observation, he had some obvious signs that would have raised serious concerns about a concussion. We will never know what truly occurred on the sideline, and these situations are becoming more common as seen in this World Cup like Gonzalo Higuaín in the final match, Javier Mascherano in the semi-finals and Álvaro Pereira in the group stages.