Peru’s Jefferson Farfan suffered a terrifying accident during team training prior to their last game in the World Cup tournament. It left him unconscious and paralyzed and everyone present fearing for his life. Emergency professionals rushed him to a local emergency room to be checked out after he collided with a goalkeeper, and the Peru team issued a statement that indicated Farfan had suffered a “traumatic brain injury.”
Peru defender Anderson Santamaria described to USA Today what he saw.
“When I saw him I thought the worst. We were very shocked by what happened with Jefferson because he could not move his arms or legs, he had white eyes. It scared us a lot.”
The team’s coach, Ricardo Gareca described the incident.
“It was a scare. It was a collision that concerned us. We have to recognize and be grateful for the immediate reaction from our medical staff and for the preparedness of Russia in this situation. He immediately received the attention that he needed so he could recover and be stabilized after being unconscious for a few minutes.”
Practice came to a halt while Farfan received medical attention on the field. Gareca was hopeful for Jefferson’s return for their final game, but says he understands “the healthcare of the players is priority.” Peru’s national association said that, at this time, testing done as part of Farfan’s treatment was “favorable for the player.” He was feeling well enough to post a message on Instagram. Unfortunately, it was not the news everyone was hoping for.
“I was dying to be with my colleagues this last game. But for medical reasons it is impossible.”
It seems doctors wanted to keep Jefferson for observation until at least Tuesday according to The Washington Post. He stayed behind in Moscow with his family and medical staff while the rest of the team traveled to Sochi ahead of their final World Cup game. His coach said he was in good spirits and probably could have left the hospital already if not for the fact that Russian protocol for this kind of injury is to keep the patient hospitalized for 72 hours.
Farfan plays for Lokomotiv Moscow according to ESPN and started in Peru’s Group C when they faced Denmark. He was brought into Peru’s matchup against France at half-time.
This is Peru’s first trip to the World Cup in 36 years. In 1982, they lost in both games with a 1-0 score. They have already been eliminated from the tournament but will face Australia Tuesday night.