The English Football Association FA wants to test as soon as possible with allowing an extra substitution if it is suspected that a player has suffered a concussion. The test will be conducted in FA Cup duels, for both men and women.
Experts and former pros point to dangers
The test can probably already start during the current cup tournament. “Footballers’ well-being is of paramount importance and we believe this is an important step in helping players, clubs and medical teams detect and treat head injuries during a game,” said an FA spokesman.
An advisory panel of the international game rules committee IFAB showed itself to be a strong supporter of the official implementation of the rule, but that will still take some time.
The proposal for this will be submitted for approval at a regular meeting of the IFAB on 16 December. After that, the general annual meeting in March next year will also consider the new provision.
Experts have long been pushing for measures to deal with head injuries. Often, knocked-up players are patched up again after head injuries, after which they continue the match anyway. Sometimes a minor or severe concussion is still diagnosed afterwards.
A number of former professional footballers in England joined a campaign last week to point out the dangers of headlines. Recent research has shown that professional football players are 3.5 times more likely than others to have serious brain disorders.
Under current rules, in the event of a possible head injury, the referee can suspend the game for up to three minutes to have the injured player examined by his doctor. Only when the doctor confirms that the player is fit to continue playing may he stand.