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SBD Global/August 29, 2014/International Football

Group Of Youth Players, Parents Suing FIFA, U.S. Soccer Federation For Alleged Negligence

A group of young U.S. footballers and their parents are suing FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation for "their alleged negligence in not protecting players, particularly children, from the risks of concussion," according to John Aglionby of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The 132-page, class-action lawsuit, filed in California, is "not seeking financial damages but the introduction of a monitoring programme and rule changes, including restricting the number of times young players can head the ball in a game." The plaintiffs, two former players and several parents, claim that FIFA "has failed at the most basic duty of a governing body -- to protect the health and safety of those that are governed." Other defendants include U.S. Youth Soccer Associations and "other football groups." The suit also calls for "temporary substitutions in professional leagues if a player has received a head injury." Calls to FIFA "went unanswered." FIFA spokesperson Delia Fischer said that FIFA had "clear recommendations" for team doctors, but "declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying the organisation had not yet studied it" (FT, 8/28).
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