All fun and games un­til baby heads ball

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Soccer - Em­met Malone

There is a very se­ri­ous de­bate within foot­ball over the po­ten­tial in­jury caused by head­ing the ball, or be­ing hit on the head by a ball, and sev­eral pa­pers re­ported this week on how a baby was the in­no­cent vic­tim of a kick-about “in­volv­ing Chelsea’s Cesc Fàbre­gas”.

Vic­to­ria Di­ethardt was with her son Mark in Lon­don’s Bel­grave Square Gar­dens when the lit­tle fella was hit on the head by a ball. She felt he should be taken to hospi­tal for scans “af­ter medics said there was a pos­si­bil­ity he may have sus­tained brain dam­age”.

Ms Di­ethardt is quoted in the story as say­ing: “Fàbre­gas is wealthy enough to pay for pri­vate health checks for my son. If they show he’s been dam­aged, Fabre­gas should pay for the rest of his life.” The first part of which doesn’t ac­tu­ally sound all that un­rea­son­able un­til it emerges that the sus­pected cul­prit in the story is not the Span­ish in­ter­na­tional mid­fielder but his three-year-old daugh­ter, Lia. The com­ments left by some read­ers in re­la­tion to the Ross Barkley/Kelvin MacKen­zie story did lit­tle this week to ad­vance the cause of hu­man­ity but the Mail might have done worse than in­cor­po­rate the one left by Lance Up­per­cut 123 into their ac­tual story. “If a Premier League foot­baller kicked a ball into a six-month-old child’s head, you’d know about it,” he sug­gested help­fully.

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