Soccer

Villas-Boas attacks critics after Lloris incident

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LONDON (AP)

Tottenham has faced a barrage of criticism this week from FIFA, players' unions and medical experts over the club's handling of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris' head injury during a Premier League match.

On Wednesday, Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas hit back.

In a passionate defense of himself and the London club's medical staff, the Portuguese coach rebuked the ''incompetent people'' who have attacked Tottenham for allowing Lloris to continue playing after being briefly knocked unconscious against Everton on Sunday.

Villas-Boas was particularly unhappy that club doctor Shabaaz Mughal and physio Geoff Scott have taken some stick. The pair played key roles in saving the life of Fabrice Muamba, who suffered an on-field cardiac arrest while playing for Bolton against Tottenham in an FA Cup match in 2012.

''I find it extremely disappointing that two people - a great doctor and a great physio, who saved the life of Muamba - were heavily put into question by lots of incompetent people, with absolutely no experience on the pitch, no experience in the action, no experience in the moment,'' Villas-Boas said. ''That is extremely serious and disappointing.''

Lloris was knocked out when his head smashed into a knee of Romelu Lukaku as the Everton striker chased down the ball in the 78th minute at Goodison Park.

Lukaku didn't escape Villas-Boas' wrath, either.

''I find it remarkable as well that nobody has dedicated themselves to find out if the player could have avoided the keeper and I'm disappointed that Lukaku hasn't contacted Hugo,'' Villas-Boas said.

''I don't question Lukaku's integrity or human side, I have maximum respect for him and I think he has for me, but from all this excitement from something that is so negative I'm surprised no time was lost to study this. I don't want to question Lukaku, he's a young player, wonderfully gifted but I think he could have jumped over Lloris.''

FIFA's chief medical officer, professor Jiri Dvorak, said Lloris "should have been substituted'' while the FIFPro players' union said Villas-Boas and his staff had ''failed to protect the goalkeeper.'' Brain injury charity Headway has also been critical.

''My medical department has followed the Premier League guidelines for this type of situation,'' Villas-Boas said.

Lloris is in contention to play for Tottenham in its Europa League match against Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday.

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