2014 World Cup

1 GER FINAL (ET) ARG 0
JULY 13 | RIO DE JANEIRO
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Germany's Kramer leaves WC final after jarring blow to the head

By Mike Singer | CBSSports.com

Let the concussion debate begin.

German midfielder Christoph Kramer was blindsided by Ezequiel Garay in the 18th minute of Sunday's World Cup final, and as has been the case all tournament, Kramer was eventually allowed to return to the field despite the obvious risks of concussions. He played for 12 minutes before he was helped off by two team trainers, underscoring the initial question of why he was allowed to return in the first place.

So, again, why was he allowed to return and play for 12 minutes? Here he is coming off the field, expressionless ... in the World Cup final.

FIFA, as consciously ignorant as could be, has turned a blind eye to the concussion issue throughout the entire tournament. ESPN's Taylor Twellman has been a vocal critic after he called Argentina's semifinal match against the Netherlands where Pablo Zabaleta took a significant blow to the head but was allowed to stay on the field. Uruguay's Alvaro Pereira was the other glaring example of a player being permitted to return to the field after taking a knee to the head.

It's not that each of the incidents necessarily saw concussions, but it's the fact that FIFA has no independent doctor able to evaluate whether a player should return or not. Also, the fact there is no protocol from FIFA is a huge point of concern.

Can't recall how many times I've said this over the past month but it's criminal that there is no head injury protocol for FIFA. Criminal.

— Sam Borden (@SamBorden) July 13, 2014

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