Neurologist questions Ronaldo decision
Convulsive fit likely hampered striker's performance
Posted: Tuesday September 15, 1998 07:26 PM
Ronaldo was left off the starting lineup issued 72 minutes before the final but he was reinstated about 40 minutes before the game when a second lineup was released Doug Pensinger/Allsport|
(CNN/SI) - The decision to allow Brazilian
striker Ronaldo to play in the World Cup final after suffering a convulsive
fit is being questioned by a leading English neurologist.
Williams, professor of clinical neurology at Birmingham University, said
Ronaldo would have been feeling the after effects of his seizure during his
below-par performance in Brazil's 3-0 loss to France.
idea that someone would be able to carry on a few hours after a seizure is
wrong," Williams said. "I'm not saying that it would be dangerous, but
there is no way that he would have been able to perform to the best of his
ability within 24 hours of his first fit -- if it was his first fit."
Brazil's preparation for the World Cup final was thrown into turmoil the
morning of the game when the star striker had convulsions and was rushed to
Brazil coach Mario Zagello left Ronaldo off the starting
lineup issued 72 minutes before the final but he was reinstated about 40
minutes before the game when a second lineup was released.
Brazilians did not warm up on the pitch before the game, adding to media
speculation about a rift in the camp.
Brazil team doctor Lidio
Toledo waffled on why Ronaldo was not in the lineup to begin with.
Initially it was reported Ronaldo had suffered an ankle injury, later he
was reported to have had an "upset stomach" after lunch.
finally admitted Monday that Ronaldo had suffered a stress-related fit.
"We lost the World Cup but I won another cup -- my life," Ronaldo said.
"I don't remember what happened but I went to sleep and, like the doctor
said, it seems I had a fit for about 30 or 40 seconds."
World Player of the Year arrived at the Stade de France 45 minutes before
the kick-off after neurological and cardiac tests had cleared him of any
series medical condition.
Williams said it would be difficult to
determine what had caused Ronaldo's convulsions but doubted it was purely
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.