Brain injury charity Headway have criticised Ryan Giggs for claiming Daniel James was being ‘streetwise’ when he appeared to be knocked out on Sunday night.
The Manchester United winger appeared to be knocked unconscious during Wales’ draw with Croatia and was left on the floor for several minutes.
Medical staff rushed on to the pitch to his aid before James returned to his feet and carried on playing, with Giggs claiming afterwards that he was ‘acting’.
Giggs said after the 1-1 draw: ‘Daniel James went down and stayed down with a bit of acting. ‘But the medical staff went over, he was compos mentis and we did all the checks at half-time and he was fine.’ Headway described the comment as ‘shocking’ on Monday.
Chief executive Peter McCabe said: ‘If that is the case and James was “acting”, it raises serious questions about the player’s understanding of the seriousness of concussion.
‘Not only has he put his own medical team under intense and unfair scrutiny, but he’s also set a dangerous example for the millions watching at home.
‘Similarly, we have serious concerns about terms like “streetwise” or that the player was “just using his nous”. It is simply not acceptable for teams to use concussion protocols for tactical gain.’ Following the result, James insisted that he had not lost consciousness in his first-half collision with Domagoj Vida.
‘There was a few tackles flying in but you always expect it in these games,’ he said. ‘I’m fine. I think he just caught me in the head but I didn’t get knocked out fortunately.’