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Football lawmakers reject trials of temporary concussion subs Main Image

Football lawmakers reject trials of temporary concussion subs

Wed 18 Jan 2023

Despite support from The Premier League, the Football Association and the world players union FIFPRO, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) have decided against a trial of temporary concussion substitutes.

Luke Griggs, Chief Executive of Headway – the brain injury association, said the charity was bitterly disappointed by the decision.

“It is hard to fathom the flawed logic behind this bitterly disappointing decision.

“The argument for the continuation of the current system appears to be that permanent concussion substitutes prevent injured players from returning to the pitch and therefore is a safer system, but this completely misrepresents the benefits of temporary concussion substitutes.

“Temporary subs would allow medics more time to assess a player in the quiet confines of a dressing room. As the symptoms of concussion can be delayed in their presentation, a ten-minute assessment will never be perfect, but it is better than giving medics the impossible job of having to make snap judgements within two or three minutes under the intense pressure and glare of tens of thousands of fans in the stadium and millions more watching at home, as is currently the case.

“Furthermore, if a player does display symptoms having returned to play after passing an off-pitch assessment, there is nothing to stop the temporary substitution being turned into a permanent one.

“We commend the Premier League and FA for making the case for temporary concussion substitutions, but all that has been achieved by this decision is to deny the application of an additional layer of protection to players and further damage football’s credibility when it comes to brain injury.”


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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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