Germany and France played out a Goalless draw in their debut UEFA Nations League game. The match may not have seen a goal but still managed to make the headlines courtesy a horror injury to France Full-Back Benjamin Pavard. Benjamin Pavard was left with some hefty stud marks on his neck, the Frenchman was stamped on by German and Chelsea Centre-Back Antonio Rudiger during the opening stages of the game as Pavard made a sliding challenge on the wing. Rudiger’s boot scraped along the neck of Pavard and left him with a nasty injury although no free-kick was awarded.
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) September 6, 2018
The 22-year-old Stuttgart Defender managed to continue playing even after sustaining a gruesome injury and Rudiger was seen apologizing to Pavard on the pitch. The German International even took to Twitter to apologize to Benjamin Pavard for the unintentional foul, “Sorry for Benjamin Pavard, it wasn’t intentional. I have apologized to him right after it happened and I also want to use this opportunity to wish him a speedy recovery.”
Sorry for @BenPavard28, it wasn't intentional. I have apologized to him right after it happened and I also want to use this opportunity to wish him a speedy recovery! 🙏🏾🇩🇪🇫🇷
— Antonio Rüdiger (@ToniRuediger) September 7, 2018
Some fans on Twitter lauded Rudiger for admitting his error but a large portion of them were of the opinion that the Chelsea Centre-back should’ve been sent off the pitch. The fact that even a foul wasn’t awarded to France is a little concerning and puts a big question mark on the safety of Players in the modern game. With the advent of sharp blades on Player’s boots, injuries such as Pavard’s can be very gruesome.
Another Injury that comes to mind is that of Neymar in the 2014 World Cup Quarterfinal against Columbia. Neymar suffered a serious back injury on the pitch that eventually resulted in him missing the Semi-Final game against Germany, which Brazil eventually lost 7-1 to Germany. In that came too the referee didn’t penalize Juan Zuniga for the Challenge.
Football is a contact sport, but referees will need to take more steps to ensure the safety of Players.