Players’ union wants concussion subs trial at FIFA Women’s World Cup

The world players’ union are urging football’s lawmakers to allow temporary substitutes for suspected concussion injuries at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

FIFPRO have been campaigning for a trial to test how temporary substitutions would work, and a decision is likely to be made on January 18 when football’s lawmaking body, the International Football Association Board, holds its AGM at London’s Wembley.

Head injuries to footballers are under scrutiny and some research suggests female physiology puts them at greater risk of concussion.

FIFPRO believes a longer off-field assessment is safer than on-field assessments.

The World Leagues Forum and FIFPRO wrote to the IFAB asking for the English Premier League, French Ligue 1 and the United States’ Major League Soccer to test temporary substitutions.

FIFPRO’s general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann told the PA news agency: “What we want to achieve now is that the possibility for trials of temporary concussion substitutions is available.

“That’s what we’ve asked the meeting next week to give us a green light on, then obviously you need to work with every competition organiser to make them apply them.

“So there’s a subsequent conversation (to be had with FIFA) about which type of concussion substitutions they would apply, if any, in their tournaments in the coming months.

“We think that we need to open this door because we think (temporary concussion substitutes) are the safer route, and that includes, of course, the Women’s World Cup.”

FIFA has so far declined to comment or indicate its position on such trials.

Safety campaigners were critical of the IFAB at last June’s AGM after the body chose not to allow temporary concussion substitutes trials.

Main photo: Top New Zealand referee Matt Conger signals a head injury to a player. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

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