ZURICH: A formal order on tighter medical controls over suspected concussion in football has moved closer writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Five incidents at the World Cup in Brazil – including the case of Germany’s Christoph Kramer in the final – prompted concerns that governing bodies had not been decisive enough over the issue despite various conferences and protocols in the last decade.
Michel D’Hooghe, Belgian chairman of the world federation’s medical committee, revealed fortnight ago that new instructions were being prepared to firm up the overriding authority of team doctors and prescribe a three-minute halt in play for cases of suspected concussion.
D’Hooghe’s proposal was approved last week by the executive committee of European federation UEFA, has now been ratified by the FIFA medical commision and is expected to be approved later this week by the world body’s exco in Zurich.
A FIFA statement said: “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.
“Following recent discussion with team doctors and Confederations, the FIFA Medical Committee agreed at a meeting held yesterday in Zurich to submit a proposal to the FIFA Executive Committee in order to improve the protocol.
“Under the proposal, whenever a suspected incident of concussion occurs, the referee will have the ability to stop the game for three minutes, allowing the relevant team doctor to complete an on-pitch assessment and decide if the player has suspected concussion.
“The referee will only allow the injured party to continue playing with the authorisation of the team doctor, who will have the final decision.”
An education programme for team doctors, coaches, referees, officials and players has also been recommended.