A Less Than Golden Head Crisis at the FIFA World Cup

What was simply a training day turned out to be a nightmare of a practice for Peru forward Jefferson Farfan.

During the training session on Saturday, June 23, Farfan suffered a “traumatic brain injury” after colliding with a teammate, which made him unconscious for minutes, reported BBC Sport. USA Today Sports even said that Farfan was left temporarily paralyzed after the collision.

“When I saw him I thought the worst,” Peru defender Anderson Santamaria told reporters. “We were very shocked by what happened with Jefferson because he could not move his arms or legs, he had white eyes. It scared us a lot.”



The 33-year-old was not eligible to play in Peru’s final game against Australia per the FIFA protocol rule on concussions. Peru outlasted Australia 2-0, but Farfan did not get to see the field and play with his team.

He isn’t the only player who suffered head injuries during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In fact, Morocco’s Nordin Amrabat suffered a harsh head injury involving memory loss against Portugal, which required hospitalization. Just five days later out of the hospital, Amrabat played in Morocco’s match against Iran.

Head injuries are now at an all-time high, as FIFA is being pressured to strengthen their rules on concussion protocol. There was no penalty enforced against Morocco for playing Amrabat just five days after his injury, when the rule indicates that players must wait six days.

While the federation awaits rule changes, technology is already advancing its improvements for head protection. Gear like 2nd Skull aims to be a high-quality tested product that reduces the blow to the head for sports like soccer. While the injuries in soccer might not seem as evident as other sports, it is extremely important to protect the head, especially with injuries like Farfan or Amrabat coming to light.

2nd Skull is equipped with a thin layer of XRD—a lightweight feature made for extreme protection with the use of urethane molecules that harden under pressure.

For soccer players—and sports like volleyball, basketball or lacrosse—2nd Skull has a lightweight headband that rests both comfortably and snug on the head. For contact sports like football and hockey, there is a skull cap that covers the head completely and is worn underneath the helmet which protects against a high level of blows to the head.

When Morocco’s Amrabat returned to the playing field after his injury, he wore a protective headgear, which almost looked like a heavy bicycle helmet. During the game, he tossed the headwear away, probably due to discomfort.

Had he used the headband from 2nd Skull, Amrabat would have been both completely comfortable and would have had impact-reducing protection on his head.

More about 2nd Skull

Born and assembled in America, the skull cap itself acts as an antimicrobial cap, featuring a thin layer of XRD® Technology, which is high-quality energy absorbing material. The urethane molecules made inside the material work as a soft and flexible fabric, which suddenly harden under immediate pressure. Both the band and the cap have been extensively tested for safety measures. Through different biomechanical testing at independant labs in North America and the United Kingdom, the skull cap, when worn under athletic helmets, lowers both rotational and linear impact.

2nd Skull won the NFL HeadHealth TECH II Challenge and was named to the Sports Tech Awards shortlists as one of the Most Innovative Sports Equipment or Apparel products. The caps themselves are designed to be both safe under impact and geared for comfort. For a skull cap that best tailors to your sport, visit their website and order directly from them as well.

Note: Scientists have not reached agreement on how the results of impact absorption tests relate to neck, head, or brain injuries, including concussions.  No conclusions about a reduction of risk or severity of neck, head, or brain injuries, including concussions, should be drawn from impact absorption tests.

Protection from head injuries. Soccer and concussions.  What you need to know about concussions in soccer. TBI and soccer players. How to protect your head in soccer.  Lightweight answer to protect your head in soccer.  Best way to protect your soccer player.  Best head protection for soccer players. FIFA World Cup concussion TBI, Traumatic Brain injury.