The Premier League will introduce permanent concussion substitutes for players with suspected head injuries, starting from as soon as ‘next week’.
Protecting players from potentially serious head injuries has long been a hot-button issue, while the deaths of England legends Jack Charlton and Nobby Stiles has brought the issue of dementia and its links to football to the fore.
Back in December, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) approved individual competitions introducing specific concussion substitutes on a trial basis from January.
In order to further safeguard its stars, the Premier League will now become the first competition to introduce permanent concussion substitutes from ‘the middle of next week’, as reported by The Times.
The move will be confirmed at a meeting on Wednesday, with the FA likely to follow suit with its own trials for the FA Cup for the fifth round.
How will concussion substitutes work?
The trial will allow players who suffer a suspected concussion to be taken off the field and substituted. This change will be permanent and separate to the three subs otherwise allowed by a manager during the match.
Each team can make two permanent concussion substitutes per match, with the opposing team will also be allowed to make a change at the same time.
A similar trial will also being held at the Club World Cup in Qatar next month although the rules will differ in that each team can only make one concussion sub per match.
Former Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen recently spoke of how the effects of a concussion he suffered during Spurs’ Champions League semi final in 2019 affected him for ‘nine months’ after.
“I suffered a lot from that – dizziness and headaches,” Vertonghen told Sporza via the BBC.
“I should not have continued playing, it affected me in total for nine months and that’s why I couldn’t bring what I wanted to on the field.
“I still had a year left on my contract, so I had to play, but when I played, I played badly,.”