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SBD Global/November 6, 2013/International Football

FIFPro, PFA Want Football Players Who Suffer Concussions To Be Removed From Game

Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris is tended to after being knocked out Sunday.
FIFPro and the Professional Footballers' Association said that footballers "should be removed from play if they lose consciousness," according to the BBC. EPL Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris was "allowed to carry on after being knocked out in Sunday's 0-0 draw with Everton." PFA Deputy CEO John Bramhall said, "If anyone suffers severe trauma to the head and loses consciousness, they should be required to leave the field." The FA said that a player "can continue if assessed by a doctor." FIFPro medical advisor Vincent Gouttebarge said, "FIFPro condemns that the health and safety of players are left to coaches, trainers or even to players themselves. Medical professionals should be aware of any relevant medical guidelines and apply them in order to empower the health and safety on the field" (BBC, 11/4). In London, Jack Pitt-Brooke reported "while no rules were broken" at Tottenham, the PFA argued that in the future such situations "should lead to a compulsory substitution." Bramhall said, "When treating a player on the pitch, it can be very difficult to determine the severity of a head injury. It is important to take the pressure off the players, club medical staff, and the manager -- removing the need for them to make a very difficult decision" (INDEPENDENT, 11/5).

INJURIES MIRROR NFL: REUTERS' Kate Kelland reported brain scientists are warning rugby and football players who suffer multiple knocks to the head during their careers "are at added risk of brain damage that could lead to dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases." John Hardy, chair of Molecular Biology of Neurological Disease at University College London's Institute of Neurology, said, "What happens is that when you have a big impact, your skull twists one way but your brain stays in the same place." These injuries, he said, "are common" among boxers, NFL and hockey players, as well as football and rugby players. They "can cause damage to the brain similar to abnormalities found in people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia" (REUTERS, 11/5).
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