LONDON: The Professional Footballers’ Association has said that the injury to Leeds’ Robin Koch in Sunday’s 4-2 defeat at home to Manchester United has shown that football’s concussion protocols are no working.
Koch, 25, suffered a blow to the head in a collision with Scott McTominay. The German was cleared to continue with his head bandaged before being replaced after 31 minutes because of concussion.
A PFA statement repeated a call last spring for the introduction of concussion substitutes.
The ‘if in doubt, sit them out’ protocol is not being applied consistently within the pressurised environment of elite competitive football.
We see frequent incidents of players returning to play with a potential brain injury, only to be removed shortly afterwards once symptoms visibly worsen.
As the representative voice of players in England, we have been clear to that we want to see the introduction of temporary concussion substitutes.
Temporary concussion substitutes will allow medical teams additional time and an appropriate environment to make an initial assessment.
Introducing temporary substitutes would allow a match to restart with neither side numerically disadvantaged, reducing pressure on players and medical teams to make quick decisions on whether an injured player continues.
Put simply, the current rules set by @TheIFAB are not working, and players are being put at risk.