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Headway frustration over concussion u-turn

Thu 22 Oct 2020

Leading UK brain injury charity Headway has urged the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to reconsider the introduction of temporary concussion substitutes after a meeting of its Concussion Expert Group (CEG) appeared to move away from the idea.

In a meeting on 21 October, the CEG members moved their focus to ‘an “additional permanent substitution” protocol, potential test environments and timelines’. No mention was made in the IFAB statement of temporary concussion substitutes, despite suggestions as recently as February that these would be trialled in forthcoming international competitions.

Headway has repeatedly called for temporary substitutions with a longer 10-minute assessment period to allow sufficient time to assess concussion, as is the case in rugby. The proposed permanent substitutions are unlikely to address this issue. 

Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway, said: “Yet again, IFAB appears to be acting in complete contrast to the established practices of other contact sports when it comes to concussion.

“It is fair to say that while we are sadly not surprised, we remain extremely disappointed with this lack of action and unwillingness to even trial the use of temporary substitutes that would allow for 10-minute assessments conducted by independent doctors.”

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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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