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Chris Sutton and Michael Owen get into extraordinary bust-up live on BT Sport

Chris Sutton and Michael Owen get into extraordinary bust-up live on BT Sport over a conversation about concussion substitutes.

Sutton branded his fellow pundit Michael Owen a “caveman” during half time of Benfica’s Champions League clash against Ajax.

Lisandro Martinez and former Premier League defender Nicolas Otamendi clashed heads during the first half with the Ajax star playing on despite looking like he was in distress.

Sutton is known to be an advocate for player welfare after his father Mike – also a former footballer – died in 2020 after suffering with dementia.

In December 2020, Sutton stated that football was “in the dark ages” when in facing up to the potentially disastrous consequences of head injuries, and has since been pushing for change.

Asked if football needed to do more to protect players, Sutton said: “Absolutely. Until IFAB step up and change the concussion protocols, they are not looking after player welfare. Player welfare isn’t put right within the game.

“You saw the horrible incident at the weekend when Robin Koch carried on after a serious head injury. Football doesn’t care. It needs to start caring.

“He needs to come off the pitch to the sanctuary of the dressing room and get checked by an independent doctor. In the mean time, he is replaced by a temporary substitute so you are not numerically disadvantaged. It is common sense. Why are IFAB not stepping up?”

Owen then replied: “Because bumps and bangs on the head,..”

However, before Owen could finish, Sutton cut in, saying: “Hang on a minute, concussion is a bump and a bang. How do you know that is not a concussion?”

Owen said: “If you take what you say to an extreme, every time they roll around holding their leg, they have broken their leg.”

Sutton got angry, responding: “Michael, that is the view of a caveman. Football needs to catch up”

Presenter Seema Jaswal then had to stop the duo so that they could return back to the live action as the two sides returned to the field at the Estadio Da Luz, however the spat would no doubt have continued off air behind the scenes.

Twitter users reacted as Chris Sutton and Michael Owen get into the extraordinary bust-up live on BT Sport…

@PlayersTrombone: Spot on, Sutton here. Usually he chats some fucking wham, but Owen’s made to look a right dickhead with this.

@AidytheTim: Some people get jobs in football broadcasting because of who they are, not because they have anything intelligent to say – Owen falls into that category

@Callum7McFadden: Wow 🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️

@anton_white123: Owen sounds like he’s had a few too many bangs to the head

@798jc106: Chris is 100% right. Nobody listens to Owen anyway so we’ll just keep going.

@weehissy: His argument is people pretending to feign leg injuries, , Why would any player feign a head injury and risk going off the field for an assessment? players want to play,this rule needs brought in ASAP

@Callama_: Going to sound like a broken record but why don’t Fifa just copy rugby when it comes to refereeing their sports. For example, stop the clock when needed, instead of taking a stab in the dark at how much added time there is.

@toby_hayde: “Michael, that’s the view of a caveman”. Absolute classic

@mishtakeshurely: Sutton’s family history is such that he is extremely aware of the research, facts and opinions on the subject and Owen would do well to listen rather than speak on this occasion.

@SuperChris1982: It’s not often I agree with Chris Sutton, but he is spot on here. Michael Owen hasn’t got a clue!

@JimGrimmett: Sutton is 100% right on this. Owen needs to think about his fellow professionals and move with the times

@bigdudedoc: Owen ain’t the brightest is he, think Sutton carried himself rather well there, could easily have lost it with Owen talking nonsense.

@CF3Loyal: Finding myself agreeing with Chris Sutton is a bad start to my day but he’s absolutely spot on here. Michael Owen clearly uneducated on the matter but picking up a wage to give wrong advice and influence the opinions of millions watching – as dangerous as it is ridiculous.

@ehsjsso28229: Concussion needs to be taken seriously bit footballers need to be honest. Stop the game immediately for a head injury. Immediately footballers knew there was an opportunity to cheat and took it, faking head injuries to stop play. If a rule is introduced for safety, respect it.

@theblessednick: Spot on. 👍🏼 Conor Coady is a classic example. Twice last season, he went down holding his head after heading the ball so it would break up play. This makes a mockery of the concussion rule. Players need properly punished for diving/feigning injury.

@Chris_Saltmarsh: it is actually astounding that organisations continue to pay Michael Owen to offer his opinion

@GSutton98: Michael Owen here showing the ignorance of the majority of football. Comparing head injury/concussion and increased risk of neuro degenerative disease as well as potential CTE to a broken leg or bang on the shin is disgusting and ignorant. Shameful and disrespectful to sufferers.

@Baldy_Bassey: Michael Owen is clueless. Saying that in front of a man in Chris Sutton who takes head injuries very seriously and rightfully so after the damage that was done to his dad which led to dementia before he sadly passed away. Owen is one of the worst pundits on TV.

@DavFlan: Whatever you think of Chris Sutton as a pundit, he’s been the most consistently outspoken British ex-pro on concussion/head knocks in football, and he clearly knows the relevant research inside out. It’s genuinely incredible that Michael Owen would try and argue with him about it

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