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Uefa: Football needs new concussion protocols


Morocco winger Nordin Amrabat during the World Cup

Morocco winger Nordin Amrabat was concussed during the World Cup but played five days later

Football needs new rules regarding concussion, and should change the way substitutions are used so doctors have more time to assess players, Uefa says.

European football’s governing body has now requested that Fifa review the current concussion protocol.

Current Fifa guidelines suggest a minimum rest period of six days after a concussion – but the final decision rests with team doctors.

“The health of players is of utmost importance,” said Uefa.

Aleksander Ceferin, the governing body’s president, said: “I strongly believe that the current regulations on concussion need updating to protect both the players and the doctors and to ensure appropriate diagnosis can be made without disadvantaging the teams affected.”

Uefa, whose executive committee met on Wednesday in Baku, said Fifa should consider potential changes to the laws of the game, including around substitutions, to “reduce the pressure on the medical staff and give doctors more time to assess a potential concussion off the pitch, so that no concussed player returns to the field of play”.

A report from the New York Hospital for Special Surgeryin November 2018 found concussion protocols in football were “ineffective” in almost two thirds of matches at the 2018 World Cup.

Morocco winger Nordin Amrabat suffered a concussion in their opening match against Iran yet played again five days later, despite Fifa’s guidelines suggesting a six-day rest period as a minimum.

Last year it emerged after the Champions League final that Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius had played the full match despite sustaining a concussion.

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