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‘Concussion trials do not go far enough’, says Headway Main Image

‘Concussion trials do not go far enough’, says Headway

Wed 16 Dec 2020

Brain injury charity Headway has reacted with disappointment to the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) decision to introduce permanent substitutes, rather than temporary.

Reacting immediately after the announcement was made in a meeting on 16 December, Headway Chief Executive Peter McCabe said: “The overwhelming tide of pressure on football authorities meant that they simply had to act to improve the way the sport deals with concussion.

“Headway has been calling for concussion substitutes for years – and yet rather than celebrating this development, we’re left to question what difference this will actually make if IFAB moves forward with permanent, rather than temporary substitutes.

“The key questions are how will players be assessed for suspected concussion, and how will decisions be made about whether they should be permanently removed?

“The benefit of a temporary concussion substitution is that it allows for the player to be assessed off the pitch, in a quiet, appropriate treatment room away from the heat of battle and the glare of players, officials, coaches and fans.

“We know how difficult it can be for club medics to make concussion assessments on or at the side of the pitch, particularly in such a short space of time or when there are language barriers.

“If these decisions continue to be made in the same way, it is very hard to see how player welfare will be improved.”

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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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