The German defender suffered a nasty head wound in the derby encounter but was initially allowed to continue the game
The PFA have slammed the Premier League over their “blatant disregard for player welfare” after Robin Koch was allowed to play on despite sustaining a head injury during Leeds 4-2 defeat against Manchester United.
Koch was left with blood streaming from his head after colliding with Scott McTominay in the 13th minute of the derby clash at Elland Road on Sunday.
Leeds medical staff treated the wound and the German defender continued playing until the 31st minute, at which point the decision was made to substitute him due to the blood still streaming through his bandages.
Marcelo Bielsa explained that fear of potential brain injury was not a factor behind Kochs withdrawal when speaking to reporters post-match.
“Robin got a cut on his head and that is why he came off, it wasnt to do with the knock,” said the Leeds boss. “The cut was the problem and we could not stem the flow of blood from the cut.
“I acted in accordance with that information. The cut was far more significant than the blow and that is why we behaved as we did.”
However, the PFA have insisted that Koch should have been substituted straight away while calling the Premier Leagues current system of concussion management into question.
“The injury to Leeds United’s Robin Koch demonstrates again that the current concussion protocols within football are failing to prioritise player safety,” the professional sport trade union have said in an official statement.
“The ‘if in doubt, sit them out’ protocol is not being applied consistently within the pressurised environment of elite competitive football.
“We see frequent incidents of players returning to play with a potential brain injury, only to be removed shortly afterwards once symptoms visibly worsen.”
The PFA went on to suggest that the introduction of temporary substitutes could provide the ideal solution for when future incidents occur.
“Introducing temporary substitutes would allow a match to restart with neither side numerically disadvantaged, reducing pressure on players and medical teams to make quick decisions on whether an injured player continues,” the statement adds.
“Put simply, the current rules set by the IFAB (International Football Association Board) are not working, and players are being put at risk.”