World players’ union FIFPro fear only a ‘high-profile case with very severe consequences’ will force football to change concussion approach and that additional permanent substitutes will ‘not solve the problem’
- FIFPro have long called for introduction of temporary concussion substitutions
- Move would enable player diagnosis without club pressure of being a man down
- But rulemakers IFAB are only interested in offering permanent alternative
- FIFPro claim an additional sub for concussion does not solve assessment issue
- Players union fears only a ‘very severe’ incident will bring those issues into light
The world players’ union have said permanent concussion substitutes will not ‘solve the problem’ of assessing head injuries in games – and fear only a ‘high-profile case with very severe consequences’ will force football’s rule makers to change tack.
FIFPro have long called for the introduction of temporary concussion substitutes to allow a 10-minute diagnosis period for a player. But their request has been rejected by IFAB, who have agreed to trial permanent replacements instead.
FIFPro’s chief medical officer, Dr Vincent Gouttebarge, said on Monday: ‘We have pushed for the trial of temporary substitutes, like you see in rugby union for example.
Arsenal club doctor Gary O’Driscoll assesses David Luiz for a potential head injury following his clash of heads with Wolves’ forward Raul Jimenez on Sunday
‘This trial was not well received. At present times, they want to first try permanent concussion substitutes.
‘It is a move forward but nevertheless I don’t think we are going to solve the problem with permanent substitutes because it does not provide the medical team sufficient time to assess on-field and off-field the player that is potentially concussed.
‘I hope that football stakeholders will not have to wait for a very high-profile case with very severe consequences in order to move forward.
‘Football is one of the sports that is the most conservative in terms of advancement in comparison to other sports.’
Luiz and Jimenez clashed heads while battling for the ball but after a short spell on the sidelines the Arsenal defender was controversially allowed to continue playing
Luiz departed at half-time and FIFPro fear without temporary concussion subs to enable a proper diagnosis, there will be a high profile incident with severe consequences to follow
FIFPro also want independent doctors introduced to help ensure decisions are not influenced by sporting interests – something which is currently not on the table.
Gouttebarge told Sky Sports News: ‘FIFPro has some standards when it comes to concussion recognition and assessment and one of the potential measures in order to increase the quality of this standard is the use of the neutral assistant doctor.
‘Not the doctor that takes the lead over the club doctor, because in order to make a proper concussion assessment, you need to know your player. It is essential to know the character of the player to assess concussion.
‘But it might be worth to explore whether an assistant with an extra doctor might play a role in a better recognition of concussion.’