" Football lawmakers were asked to introduce temporary shock replacements | Sky News football news - NEWS-SPORT
Football lawmakers were asked to introduce temporary shock replacements |  Sky News football news

Football lawmakers were asked to introduce temporary shock replacements | Sky News football news

An open letter calling for the introduction of temporary shock replacements has been written to the Board of the International Football Association (IFAB) as key figures have insisted that the current protocols are not working.

IFAB members will gather in Doha on Monday for its 136th annual general meeting, and the shock surrogates will be among a range of topics on the agenda.

In December 2020, IFAB invited competitions to participate in a trial of permanent shock replacements, which the Premier League agreed on months later.

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Former England goalkeeper David James suffered a stroke during his career as a player – he told The Football Show that medical intervention was needed to go further to protect the welfare of the players.

While this was seen as a step forward in the sport’s fight against neurogenic diseases, the option of temporarily replacing players while they undergo head injury assessments is not yet available.

Leading figures from the Professional Footballers Association, the Jeff Astle Foundation, the Shock Heritage Foundation and the Headway Brain Injury Association have now signed an open letter urging IFAB to go further.

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Luke Griggs, deputy chief executive of brain injury charity Headway, says further changes are needed when it comes to managing concussions on the ground.

Dawn Astle, the daughter of former England player Jeff, who died in 2002 from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and co-founder of the Jeff Astle Foundation, said: “Simply put, the current IFAB rules do not work and the players are put in. risk.

“It is completely unacceptable. Too often we see players rated for a complex brain injury on the playing field, with the noise and intensity of a football stadium and continuing the game only to be replaced later. This shows that the current guidelines do not prioritize player safety. Change is delayed. »

Jeff Astle
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Jeff Astle’s death attributed to occupational disease associated with recurrent stroke

PFA chief executive Maheta Molango added: “When setting the rules of the game, the safety and well-being of the players must be a top priority. Medical teams are given an impossible task.

“As a spokesman for the professional players in England, we have made it clear that we want to see the immediate introduction of temporary replacement substitutes. »

The executive director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation in the UK Dr Adam White said: “We have to do everything we can to help healthcare professionals make the best decisions for the safety of players, which means letting them time and space to conduct robust clinical evaluations away from the playing field.

“Temporary shock replacements are the only way that can happen. »

Chris Suton
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Former Norwich striker Chris Sutton was one of many former professionals who signed the open letter

Former Norwich and Blackburn striker Chris Sutton, whose father Mike suffered from dementia before his death in 2020, was one of many former professionals who signed the open letter.

Nobby Stiles family members Dave Watson, Peter Bonetti, Frank Worthington and Rod Taylor also gave their support.

Progress: the change should have happened years ago

Headway chief executive Peter McCabe said: “It’s essential that we better protect players from the dangers of continuing to play after suffering a concussion, especially those who play at the grassroots level.

“The introduction of temporary shock replacements should have happened years ago and any further delay is simply unacceptable. »

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Former West Brom striker Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu suffered a concussion during his playing days and told The Football Show what needs to be done to protect the players.

A number of medical professionals, including Drs. Willie Stewart, also signs the letter.

It was Dr. Stewart’s FIELD study published in 2019, which found that footballers were three and a half times more likely to die from NDD than a member of the general population of the same age.

“Permitting the temporary replacement of concussion in football would allow medical professionals to conduct more comprehensive assessments and send an important signal to everyone in the game to treat head injuries with proper care,” the letter reads. holding more than 100 signatures.

“We urge IFAB to immediately implement temporary shock replacements in the football league-associated football laws, through which appropriate medical and health coverage and monitoring allows shock assessments to be administered. »

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