Hungary forward Varga needs surgery for facial fractures as UEFA defends medical response

Mon, Jun 24, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Hungary forward Varga needs surgery for facial fractures as UEFA defends medical response

WEILER-SIMMERBERG, Germany (AP) - Hungary forward Barnabas Varga was set to undergo surgery Monday after breaking several facial bones in a collision with Scotland's goalkeeper during their game at the European Championship.

The Group A match on Sunday was halted for nearly 10 minutes so Varga could get treatment after colliding with Angus Gunn midway through the second half.

The 29-year-old Varga was carried off on a stretcher and taken to a Stuttgart hospital. Surgery was scheduled for Monday afternoon.

"He is fine, conscious and waiting to be operated," team spokesman Gergo Szabo told The Associated Press. "He will have to spend a few days in the hospital but it would be irresponsible to say anything now."

Hungary went on to win 1-0 with a dramatic stoppage-time goal from substitute Kevin Csoboth to leave it with a chance of advancing at Euro 2024, though Varga will play no further part.

Several of Varga's teammates appeared to be in tears as the forward received treatment on the field. They held up blankets to shield Varga as he was tended to by medical staff.

The Hungary players had frantically signaled to medical staff after the incident and several have since spoken out about how long it took for Varga to receive treatment. Varga also sustained a concussion.

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"I think, yes, it took so long. I can understand, everybody understands the protocol, and what they have to wait, but the life is more important than the football, then the health is more important," Csoboth said on Monday.

"We wanted to push them to go (on the field), it doesn't matter what will happen, and that's the problem. We did not agree with them, why they did not go (on the field) immediately?"

Hungary captain Dominik Szoboszlai rushed to run with the stretcher because he was concerned with how long it was taking to bring it onto the field.

UEFA insists "there was no delay in the treatment of and assistance to" Varga.

"We would like to clarify that the intervention of the team doctor happened within 15 seconds of the incident, followed immediately by the second stadium doctor, to conduct a first assessment of the injury and provide appropriate treatment, as per customary medical procedures," European soccer's governing body said in a statement.

"The qualified pitchside emergency team were waiting pitchside, according to their protocol, and arrived with the stretcher as soon as their intervention was requested by the medics to evacuate the player for his immediate transfer to hospital."

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Matar reported from Munich.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

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