FA toughen up concussion guidelines

5 August 2014 15:27

New guidelines from The Football Association will see players who lose consciousness during a match taken away from the field of play.

The subject of concussion has regularly been in the headlines over recent months, following incidents in the Premier League and at the World Cup.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris suffered concussion during November’s fixture with Everton before Alvaro Pereira, Javier Mascherano and Cristoph Kramer all played on despite receiving blows to the head in Brazil.

And in new rules unveiled on Tuesday, which are supported by the Premier League, the Football League and the League Manager’s Association, any player who suffers a “confirmed or suspected period of loss of consciousness” will be forced to leave the field of play and not be allowed to return.

Where there are no signs of concussion, an on-field assessment must take place, and any player who suffers two or more head injuries must be given detailed psychometric testing.

“Such testing should be carried out every 48 hours following an incident to assess the injury whilst a clinical assessment should be made daily, with a minimum period of six days in which time the player will be ineligible to return to play,” the FA said in a statement.

Furthermore, after ratification from the Premier League’s shareholders, team doctors will now have the final say on whether a player can continue or not, rather than members of the coaching staff.

Dr Ian Beasley, chair of the FA’s medical committee, said: “Managers, players and clubs need to understand the risks associated with head injuries.

“The advice of medical professionals is key in this area, and whilst we have developed processes to deal with many types of injury, this is an area that has perhaps needed some more scrutiny.

“We have worked closely with the stakeholders to develop these new guidelines and the message is clear for players; listen to medical advice and take no chances – stop playing and take your time to recover.”