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New Concussion Guidelines Released By The FA

Tue 24th Nov 2015 | Football Governance

Footballers who sustain a suspected concussion, either during training or in a game, should immediately be removed from the pitch and not allowed to return, until the appropriate treatment has been administered.

That is the message at the heart of new guidelines launched by The FA for managing head injuries at all levels of the game.

Available as both a free-to-download digital document and online resource via The FA and County FA websites, the guidance is based on evidence and best practice from around the world, and includes key information on how a concussion should be managed, from the time of injury through to a player’s safe return to football. 

The advisory guidelines have been designed for those who manage head injuries in professional and grassroots football - from clubs and schools, to parents and doctors.

Dave Reddin, The FA’s Head of Performance Services, said: “We have been very fortunate, and I am very grateful, that we have had the combined expertise of an international expert panel in reviewing and revising our guidelines.

“This allowed us to take viewpoints from inside and outside the game, especially referring to those sports with a longer period of experience in dealing with concussion. As a result I feel we have a really comprehensive set of guidelines for all levels of the game which will help to keep football safe.”

Dr Ian Beasley, The FA’s head of medical services, believes the guidelines will play a crucial role in ensuring the better management and care of head injuries across football in England, thereby making the game safer for more players at every level.

He said: “Playing football has been shown to promote good health, and so by making the game safer, we will hopefully increase participation and thereby boost the health of the nation.”

The guidelines were developed in consultation with The FA’s Expert Panel on Concussion and Head Injury, which was set-up in April 2015, and tasked with advising the organisation on issues surrounding concussion. 

As well as producing the concussion guidelines, the expert panel have also been working on devising appropriate research into the long-term effects of head injury or repeated concussion episodes on the brain.

The FA plan to take the appropriate research questions they have identified to FIFA in due course.

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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