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Headway’s reaction to ban on heading footballs for U12s featured by national press Main Image

Headway’s reaction to ban on heading footballs for U12s featured by national press

Tue 21 Jan 2020

The national press has featured Headway’s statement following the news that the Scottish Football Association is considering banning children under 12 heading the ball.

The statement, which was covered by The Guardian, Daily Mail online, Daily Record and STV (Web), read:

“In light of the recent study undertaken by the University of Glasgow, which suggested that professional football players have a higher risk of neurodegenerative diseases than the general public, there does seem to be merits in considering such a move,” said Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway – the brain injury association.

“It is understandable that coaches and parents are looking for clarification on this issue. It is therefore vital that more research is conducted to fully understand what risks, if any, are linked to heading lightweight modern footballs.

“There are questions about the age limit and speculation suggests this will be 12 years. This infers that a child of 13 years is safe to head the ball. How do we know this to be the case?

“The difficulty we face, in the absence of meaningful research relating to the modern game, is where we draw the line in terms of acceptable risk versus the rewards we know healthy exercise can bring.”

Overall, more than 570 pieces of print and online coverage were secured, seven of which were national publications and the rest of which were locals.

Headway’s spokespeople, Peter McCabe and Luke Griggs, were interviewed by BBC News, Sky Sports and BBC Radio 5Live and Headway’s Press Officer, Katie Morris, appeared on CBBC’s Newsround to talk about this issue.


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