After football concussions have been increasingly discussed in recent years, the International Football Association (IFAB) board could now introduce a revolutionary rule change. L & # 39; Athletic reports that if concussions are suspected, the players could pause for 10 minutes, including a temporary replacement.
On October 23, IFAB will hold several committees in Zurich to consider proposals to change the rules of football. The most important thing on the agenda is L & # 39; Athletic According to the treatment of concussions.
As a result, it is planned to extend the investigative window from three to ten minutes in the event of an alleged concussion. The granting of these breaks would no longer be at the discretion of the arbitrators, but would become mandatory. In addition, a temporary substitute would enter the game for the duration of the tests.
However, a decision on this matter can not yet be taken in October, but a working group will be set up at the next meeting. It is necessary to develop a protocol that could be formally proposed at the IFAB Annual General Meeting in December and approved at the Annual General Meeting in March of this year.
FIFA: Fear of tactical exploitation
Efforts were sparked by the notorious clash of Christoph Kramer with Ezequiel Garay in the 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. Kramer had initially been disoriented and had to be replaced.
While UEFA reacted by launching three-minute investigations, FIFA hesitated for a long time to change the rules. "I remember two conferences where FIFA medical staff rejected this idea," says Ross Tucker, sports adviser for the World Rugby Association. The athletic: "Because they were worried, the teams would exploit them to gain a tactical advantage. "
The target ten minutes are noisy Tucker the window of optimal time. "Five minutes is not enough," he explained: "You can not test all the functions, you're in too much of a hurry, but 15 minutes is too much, there would be tactical substitution problems and breaks for the players. "
Doctors: return from training only after six days
In addition to the duration, the protocol must also indicate whether the treatment should be performed by an internal doctor or by a doctor. According to Tucker, the current state of research suggests that doctors familiar with the player make better judgments. In both cases, the main thing is to treat actors off the field.
"Once the player is out of the field, it's a lot easier to handle here, the temporary substitutes give you time and reduce the chances that a concussion player will be sent back to the game," he said. Tucker.
Dr. Vincent Gouutebarge, medical president of the FIFPRO players' organization, also wants to improve the follow-up and asks the "players likely to undergo a concussion to resume their training no earlier than six days after their injury".
Concussions can be deadly
Again and again, there have been examples of players who have continued to play despite a concussion – and this despite the fact that they present many dangers. "Nothing is under-diagnosed as a concussion," Prof. said. Dr. med. Dr. Claus Reinsberger, neurologist and director of the sports medicine institute of Paderborn University, im Westfalen-Blatt: "It's dangerous and even life-threatening, even a second shot can be fatal."
Nine years ago, American sports leagues responded to studies on the long-term consequences of concussions in the NFL with committees dedicated to such investigations.
Gooutebarge therefore praised "the increasing willingness of stakeholders to increase safety in football" and is looking forward to "continuing to work with IFAB to bring football to a level comparable to that of the world over. other sports that apply more in-depth treatment practices ".