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SBD Global/August 11, 2014/International Football

FA Senior Doctor Warns Of Possible 'Tsunami' Of Concussion-Related Legal Claims

English professional football has been warned it "faces a 'tsunami' of damaging legal claims that will cripple some clubs if managers continue to over-rule doctors and allow concussed players to play on," according to Sam Peters of the London DAILY MAIL. FA senior doctor Ian Beasley this week said the NFL's "massive legal settlement" with former players suffering from "early on-set dementia linked to head injuries" -- now in excess of £870M ($1.46B) -- has set a "precedent other sports would be foolish to ignore." The last EPL season saw an "alarming number of incidences where managers ignored team doctors and allowed concussed players to return to play." Beasley said, "Clubs need to be aware that if they make mistakes and something tragic happens to a player after their manager has over-ruled the medic then it’s the club and the manager who become liable. For smaller clubs, that could break them financially. We have to make sure they understand what the consequences are." Beasley added, "When you've got precedent of a tsunami [the NFL pay out] coming your way the best thing to do is to build your defense properly so you can withstand the tsunami. Because it could come our way, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind about that." Last week the FA announced its "head-injury guidelines, in conjunction with the Premier League and League Managers' Association" (DAILY MAIL, 8/9).
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