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FIFA Mulls New Concussion Protocol

  • ESPN FC, Tuesday, September 23, 2014 1:09 PM

At a meeting of its executive committee in Zurich on Tuesday, soccer’s world governing body FIFA confirmed that it received a proposal from its Medical Committee for a new concussion protocol that would stop games for three minutes while team doctors assess players that have received head injuries. UEFA, Europe’s governing body that reports to FIFA, adopted the three-minute break protocol last week and will apply it to Champions League matches, beginning next week.

"The incidents at the World Cup have shown that the role of team doctors needs to be reinforced in order to ensure the correct management of potential cases of concussion in the heat of competition,'' FIFA said in a statement. "Under the proposal, whenever a suspected incident of concussion occurs, the referee will have the ability to stop the game for three minutes, allowing the relevant team doctor to complete an on-pitch assessment and decide if the player has suspected concussion.” It continued: “The referee will only allow the injured party to continue playing with the authorization of the team doctor, who will have the final decision.''

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