IFAB claims footballers health remain ‘at risk’ due to existing concussion rules

Concussion rules
The International Football Association Board has yet to make temporary substitutions for players so they can leave the pitch to be evaluated for head injuries.

According to the Professional Footballers’ Association, the health of footballers are “at risk” due to the lack of progress on the issues under discussion.

The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) have called for temporary substitutions for concussion to be allowed in football matches.

Current concussion rules are “endangering player safety” they said. Temporary substitutions are “not foreseen at this stage” according to IFAB, because concussion symptoms can take several days to manifest.

Dr. Adam White, head of the PFA’s brain health department said:

“Put simply, the current laws of the game are jeopardizing player health and safety.

“Permanent substitutions do not allow medical teams to assess a player with a potentially serious brain injury in an appropriate environment.

“The rules, as they are, create an extremely challenging situation and offer no support to medical personnel.”

Emiliano Martinez was subbed at the weekend due to concussion concerns after colliding with fellow Aston Villa player Tyrone Mings in the game against Newcastle on Saturday thus raising the issue again.

“He should be able to go off and be assessed for 10 minutes and the subs should be able to come on, and that [Martinez going down a second time] is what happens 10 minutes later,” BBC pundit Alan Shearer said.

“If he goes off and he’s assessed, there’s no way that he’s allowed back on the field of play, like he is in this instance. It shouldn’t happen. They’re failing players by not allowing temporary substitutions to come on.”

While clubs can make substitutions for concussed players beyond the usual five-player limit, there is no provision for a temporary sub for a head injury assessment, which would allow players to return to the field if deemed safe.

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