FIFA to Finally Discuss New Concussion Guidelines
The world's biggest soccer organization will consider new guidelines for concussions after the multiple injuries suffered during high profile games at this summer's World Cup.
FIFA will consider new guidelines for concussions after the multiple injuries suffered during high profile games at this summer's World Cup.
According to the organization, the medical committee will, over the course of a two-day meeting starting Thursday, discuss whether to implement a mandatory three-minute break during games whenever a suspected concussion occurs.
From FIFA's announcement:
FIFA has been active in this field for many years, carrying out a number of scientific studies and hosting several conferences with international sports federations which led to clear recommendations on the subject. However, the incidents at the World Cup have shown that the role of team doctors needs to be reinforced in order to ensure the correct management of potential cases of concussion in the heat of the competition."
The new measures would include an assessment by a doctor who must deem the player concussion-free before the referee can allow the player back on the pitch.
The concussion issue reached a boiling point following several significant player injuries during this year's World Cup. At the final match, Germany's Christoph Kramer took a blunt hit to the head from an Argentine player's shoulder. The accident sent him flying to the ground, but after trainers rushed to quickly check him, the midfielder remained on the pitch, woozily playing for nearly 15 minutes before being ushered off the field. Kramer later admitted he didn't remember anything that happened during the match.
Incidents like Kramer's sparked complaints from various groups pointing to the health dangers around concussions and calling for action from FIFA — and the clamor has worked so far. Last week, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) adopted new rules to monitor concussed players, calling for mandatory three-minute breaks for suspected head injuries.