Iran keeper left bloodied mess after sickening head clash during England game

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    Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand initially refused to be substituted despite being left with blood pouring from his nose following a sickening head clash in their World Cup opener against England.

    Beiranvand went down in agony after incidentally being headbutt by his team-mate following an England cross – with medical staff running to his aid.

    After a lengthy check, in which he looked weak on his feet and a team-mate splashed water on his face, a clearly groggy Beiranvand changed his shirt and attempted to continue despite huge worry from supporters.

    READ MORE: England fans slam 'fix' after being denied 'blatant double penalty' against Iran

    One fan wrote on Twitter: "Brave effort, but it shows football is still a long way behind other sports in terms of head injury assessments."

    A second agreed: "These incidents could come back to haunt football."

    A third said: "Let's put players at increased risk…negligence once more from sport."

    A fourth concluded: "Not good at all! What are the medical teams for?"

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    Agreeing on the broadcast, BBC Sport pundit Jermaine Jenas said: "If Beiranvand has to miss 10 days for his health and his safety, then so be it. That's why these protocols are in place.

    "I don't see how him carrying on is right. This is ridiculous. It's almost as if he's been forced to carry on here.

    "It's 2022 and we are having so many discussions about concussion protocols and how it can lead to dementia. This is not ok."

    Following the lengthy disruption, England took the lead through Jude Bellingham with Bukayo Saka grabbing a second and Raheem Sterling a third.

    Southgate said before the game of his team selection: "You're always looking at the opponent – we feel this is a strong team and a strong way to start.

    "We've got great depth to come in as well which we will need and we want to be positive and play on the front foot."

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    • England Football Team
    • World Cup
    • Iran

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