David Ospina Hospitalized After Collapsing from Head Injury in Napoli's Match

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIMarch 17, 2019

Italian referee Paolo Valeri (R) reacts as Napoli's Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina (Rear C-L) is evacuated after sustaining a head injury during the Italian Serie A football match Napoli vs Udinese at the San Paolo stadium in Naples. (Photo by Carlo Hermann / AFP)        (Photo credit should read CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina has been hospitalised after collapsing from a head injury suffered during Sunday's 2-2 Serie A draw with Udinese.

Ospina, who is on loan from Arsenal, was stretchered off after collapsing to the turf having suffering a knock to the head earlier in the match. The club announced a CAT scan came back clean, but Ospina will stay overnight in a clinic for further observation.

The Colombian was taken off just before half-time and replaced by Alex Meret:

Official SSC Napoli @en_sscnapoli

⏱4️⃣4️⃣ First change for Napoli. 👉🏻 Meret 👈🏻 Ospina ⚽️ #NapoliUdinese 2-2 🇮🇹 @SerieA 💙 #ForzaNapoliSempre

Ospina clashed with Udinese winger Ignacio Pussetto after just seven minutes in a collision that saw both players injured.

The goalkeeper dived to meet a ball into the penalty area and banged his head against Pussetto's leg. 

Napoli initially sent Meret out to warm-up while Ospina received treatment on the pitch. However, the 30-year-old was able to continue after being patched up by the club's medical team:

Goal @goal

Napoli's David Ospina collapsed after a blow to his head during the 2-2 draw with Udinese, but early reports indicate he is okay after being taken to hospital https://t.co/sGZkNSVpPc

Ospina conceded two goals after he suffered the injury. Kevin Lasagna pulled one back for Udinese to make it 2-1, before Seko Fofana levelled the match.

The goalkeeper then collapsed late in the half, although he did appear to regain consciousness before he left the pitch:

footballitalia @footballitalia

Ospina waved an arm to the crowd, he has regained consciousness, but clearly cannot continue. He's on the stretcher. Liveblog https://t.co/RHoapx00OI #NapoliUdinese #SerieA

Ospina was taken straight to hospital for further treatment:

footballitalia @footballitalia

UPDATE: David Ospina is in hospital, he's conscious, and his wife is with him. Liveblog https://t.co/RHoapx00OI #NapoliUdinese #SerieA #Napoli #Colombia #AFC #Arsenal

Napoli's decision to keep Ospina on after he suffered a head injury attracted criticism from supporters:

Anita @arsenaloFka

How was Ospina even allowed to play with head injury?!? I know he's faking stuff every match but this was definitely real! Ffs, poor from Napoli, doctors and the ref.


This is laughable also from technical staff. It’s obvious Ospina can’t continue and now he’s out cold on the floor. Why didn’t they sub him out? Shameful all around.

The incident will bring the spotlight back on concussion protocols in football and follows on from another worrying head injury suffered by a goalkeeper in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

Lyon stopper Anthony Lopes picked up a head injury early in his team's 5-1 defeat to Barcelona. The goalkeeper initially refused to go off but was subsequently replaced by Mathieu Gorgelin.

FIFPro said the incident had "exposed failings" in dealing with head injuries in football:


Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper Anthony Lopes’s injury against Barcelona has exposed failings in the way professional football deals with #concussion. Recognize. Report. Remove. https://t.co/wuMXSJHQ5e https://t.co/8oE3u8iRd5

The organisation, which represents footballers all over the world, also "called for an independent doctor at matches" and a "temporary substitute" to be allowed on the field while medics are checking for concussion in a statement to Brian Homewood at Reuters.