EXCLUSIVE: Premier League will demand answers from Tottenham on why they don’t follow course limits in training after Nuno Espirito Santo revealed club is ignoring guidelines
- Premier League will ask Tottenham why they are ignoring the turn signals
- Professional soccer players should be limited to 10 high-force headers per week
- Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo admitted club ignores limits in training
- A groundbreaking race takes place on Sunday with race restrictions
The Premier League is set to question Tottenham Hotspur about why they are not applying header limits in training after Nuno Espirito Santo revealed the club is ignoring the guidelines.
Football authorities have taken a weak stance on a club admitting they are not following guidelines drawn up to protect players for fear of being linked to dementia.
At the start of the season, the recommendation was to limit professional-level soccer players to 10 high-force headers per week. Nuno said Tottenham do not count headers in training and sources say they are not alone in turning down the guidance.
Premier League will demand answers after Nuno Espirito Santo admitted Tottenham are ignoring header limits guidelines
Professional-level footballers must be limited to 10 high-force headers per week (Spurs midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg pictured)
It comes as a groundbreaking game taking place on Sunday at Spennymoor Town’s Brewery Field, with course restrictions. Played between former professional footballers, headers will only be allowed in the penalty area in the first half, and no headers at all in the second half.
“The well-being of the player is paramount and the guidance is an important part,” the Premier League confirmed in a statement. “We will continue to liaise with clubs and football partners regarding the guidance and will speak directly with the club to understand their challenges in implementing it.”
Nuno had complained about Tottenham’s defense this season during his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s North London derby with Arsenal. When asked how they can improve when there are limits, he said, “That’s why we have training sessions without nobody seeing us.”
Nuno admitted he doesn’t count how many times his players head the ball during practice
Nuno admitted he’s worried about dementia, but stressed heads are part of it
Nuno urged for more, continued: ‘I am concerned about the dementia situation and what it may cause by heading the ball. It’s a big concern for us, but it’s part of the game. Frankly, I won’t lie to you. I don’t count how many times our players head the ball. Maybe I’m getting myself into trouble because of this. But football is jumping, heading, it’s part of the game.’
Researchers will watch Sunday’s game with header restrictions to study certain situations, such as how corner kicks and goal kicks work when players can’t head the ball.
It’s a unique experiment and one that organizers, the brain health charity Head for Change, along with the Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust, hope will raise awareness for dementia in football.
There were 106 headers in the England v Germany match at Euro 2020, three more than in the 1966 World Cup final
Despite the modern game seeming more focused on passing the ball, statistics show that heading still plays a big role. In the 1966 World Cup final, England and West Germany produced 103 headers.
At Euro 2020, the knockout draw between the English and Germans yielded even more: 106. Meanwhile, the number of ‘air duels’ contested during Premier League matches has remained at similar figures since Opta first started collecting those. data in 2012-13.
The FA, Premier League, EFL, PFA and LMA have agreed on price limit guidelines for this season, but none of these authorities are overseeing.
Instead, club staff and players themselves were expected to apply the restrictions themselves, which campaigners described as impractical. High power headers include those after a pass over 35 yards, crosses, corners and free kicks.