CHRIS SUTTON: Don’t kick the road again when it comes to brain injury

CHRIS SUTTON: Don’t kick the hat again on the issue of brain injury, as families of former football players suffering from dementia want action… now it’s time for change and a response is needed

  • The DCMS Commission report found that the FA and PFA have failed in the field of brain injury
  • It’s good to hear that this is recognized by MPs, but the question is what happens now
  • The families of former footballers with dementia will want action actie
  • Now is not the time to kick the ass on this serious matter

The DCMS committee report is finally here.

It says the FA and PFA haven’t done enough (tell us something we don’t know) and the UK workplace health and safety regulator hasn’t regulated sport as it should.

It is good to hear that the MPs recognize this, but what I want to know is: what is happening now? That is what the families of former football players with dementia ask.

The DCMS report finds that the FA and PFA haven’t done enough head injuries in football

We don’t want the can kicked out onto the road before the (insert ridiculous number here) time. We want action. We want change. We want a response.

Football still needs a training header limit to be entered. Does this speed that up?

It still needs temporary concussion replacements to get in, after Euro 2020 has given several examples of how the ‘extra permanent replacement’ just doesn’t work. Will that happen?

Jeff Astle died of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in 2002 and now it's time for action

Jeff Astle died of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in 2002 and now it’s time for action

Football needs a limit on heads in training and coaches urgently need education about this issue

Football needs a limit on heads in training and coaches urgently need education about this issue

Coaches are still needed to learn why kids don’t need to head the ball. Will that be set?

I would give up my own time to have a Zoom conversation with, say, under-16 coaches from a certain part of the country. I’ve actually done that before with clubs near me.

But shouldn’t the FA be setting this up? Guidelines currently say that primary school children should not lead the ball, but some youth coaches may be reluctant to make changes to the way they were coached as children themselves.

They need education, so let’s give them that education. This is brain injury we’re talking about. It’s a very serious subject.

The topic of brain injury is serious, but football's sluggish pace could mean changes are out for a while

The topic of brain injury is serious, but football’s sluggish pace could mean changes are out for a while

The DCMS recommendation that UK Sport should pay for a medical officer at any major sporting event is interesting. I wonder to what level we should have that in football.

Every Premier League game? Any championship? Lower? Let’s see what happens next.

As always, as much as I would like changes to happen now, I expect this to be a slow process as football works at its own snail’s pace.

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