Football: Villas-Boas defiant over decision to let Lloris play on despite collision

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas (above) on Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013, said that he had no regrets about allowing goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to continue playing after he was briefly knocked unconscious during a game. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS
Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas (above) on Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013, said that he had no regrets about allowing goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to continue playing after he was briefly knocked unconscious during a game. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas on Wednesday said that he had no regrets about allowing goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to continue playing after he was briefly knocked unconscious during a game.

The France international, 26, momentarily lost consciousness following a collision with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku towards the end of Sunday's 0-0 Premier League draw at Goodison Park, but he insisted on playing on.

Spurs' decision not to substitute him was criticised by Britain's Professional Footballers' Association and the chief medical officer of world governing body Fifa, both of whom voiced fears about the risk of concussion.

However, Villas-Boas said he felt that Lloris's safety was not at risk and expressed anger that his medical staff, who had helped to save the life of former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba after he collapsed at White Hart Lane two years ago, had been called into question.

"I stand absolutely by the decision I took and I stand by the decision that the medical department took following the checks that they made on the player," Villas-Boas said during an occasionally ill-tempered press conference.

"All the checks were according to the book. I have registered the fact that a couple of people have taken this opportunity to find the chance to get themselves publicised who have no experience in the pitch whatever in these type of situations.

"And I find it extremely disappointing that two people - a great doctor and a great physio, who saved the life of Muamba - were heavily put into question by lots of incompetent people, with absolutely no experience on the pitch, no experience in the action, no experience in the moment.

"That is extremely serious and disappointing."

The incident occurred after Lloris slid out to claim a ball in front of Lukaku, whose left knee caught the Frenchman on the head.