The Premier League has approved a trial of concussion substitutions that could be introduced to games very soon. In the event of a suspected concussion, it will give clubs the power to make additional substitutions and contribute to better player welfare.
Once the final details surrounding implementation are ironed out between FIFA and international lawmakers IFAB, the trial can begin and each side in a game will be allowed to make a maximum of two concussion substitutions, regardless of the number of substitutions made already.
As things stand, players with a head injury or suspected concussion may force themselves to carry on, putting themselves at risk of more serious injury, if the only alternative is that their team would be at a numerical disadvantage without them.
There is now a solution that will ensure teams can at least immediately replace a player suspected of having suffered a concussion.
A Premier League statement explained: “Premier League Shareholders today formally agreed to introduce the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) additional permanent concussion substitutions trial.
“The trial will be confirmed when the implementation of the reporting processes, including private medical information, has been resolved with IFAB and FIFA.
“With player welfare the Premier League’s priority, the protocols will allow a maximum of two concussion substitutes to be used per team, with the opposition side able to use the equivalent number.
“The additional concussion substitutions may be made regardless of the number of substitutions a team have made already.
“The trial is a result of the IFAB’s consultation with stakeholders and recommendations from their concussion expert group to allow additional substitutions for players with actual or suspected concussion.”
With Premier League games coming thick and fast in an ever more congested season, any measures intended to improve player safety, health and welfare cannot come soon enough.