Football’s lawmakers have been accused of losing “more credibility” by a leading brain injury charity, after a trial of temporary concussion substitutes was disapproved last week.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has upheld its decision to dismiss a lawsuit in the United States. Premier LeagueAt the annual general meeting of Ligue 1 in France and Major League Soccer in the United States London Saturday.
The Premier League and Professional Footballers Association opposed the decision and now the charity. progress Says IFAB and the governing body of football Fifa lacked leadership.
Headway CEO Luke Griggs said: “We are disappointed that the IFAB has once again refused to introduce a temporary concussion substitution rule.
“FIFA president Gianni Infantino claims football has ‘made player health a top priority’ by extending the permanent substitute trial. But this system has repeatedly failed to protect players, as it relied on medics to make an urgent decision or risk exacerbating brain damage by playing for 10 to 15 minutes to see how a player is progressing.
“FIFA’s claim that the current system represents the ‘zero risk’ approach is ‘if in doubt, sit down!’ approach to concussion.
“These failures are partly due to the pressure placed on paramedics to make dual and urgent decisions during brief assessments in the field, thanks to the permanent reserve rule.
“FIFA and IFAB have had many opportunities to show leadership and implement this important step for player safety.
“Obviously, with every IFAB meeting where this rule is not enforced, they lose more credibility in the football brain health arena.”
The Premier League said it “didn’t understand” the decision.
A Premier League spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that a temporary concussion replacement trial was not approved, given all the available scientific evidence and the overwhelming support from Premier League club doctors.
“While we note that a try has not been denied, we cannot understand the reason for its disapproval and are convinced that it should proceed at the earliest opportunity for player welfare.”
Proponents of transient concussions say giving paramedics more time to assess a player away from the field will result in more concussions and reduce the risk of a concussed player being sent back to play.
Dr Adam White, head of brain health at the PFA, said: “We are committed to improving how brain injuries are managed during matches and will continue to work with leagues and player associations from around the world football to take measures that put player safety first.”