The Premier League will introduce permanent concussion substitutes for players with suspected head injuries, starting “next week”.
Protecting players from potentially serious head injuries has long been a burning issue, as the deaths of England legends Jack Charlton and Nobby Stiles have brought the issue of dementia and its connection to football to the fore.
In December, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) approved individual competitions introducing concussion-specific substitutes on a trial basis from January.
To further protect its stars, the Premier League will now become the first competition to introduce permanent concussion substitutes from “the middle of next week,” as the Times reports.
That decision will be confirmed at a meeting on Wednesday, with the FA likely to follow their lead with their own FA Cup trials for the fifth round.
How will concussion substitutes work?
The lawsuit will allow players who suffer from a suspected concussion to be taken off the field and replaced. This change will be permanent and separate from the three submarines otherwise permitted by a coach during the match.
Each team can make two permanent concussion substitutes per game, with the opposing team also being allowed to make one substitution at the same time.
A similar try will also take place at the Club World Cup in Qatar next month, although the rules differ in that each team can only do one sub per game.
Former Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen recently opened up about how the effects of a concussion he suffered in Spurs’ Champions League semi-final in 2019 affected him for ‘nine months’ after.
“I suffered a lot from this – dizziness and headaches,” Vertonghen told Sporza via the BBC.
“I shouldn’t have kept playing, it affected me in total for nine months and that’s why I couldn’t bring what I wanted to the field.
“I still had a year left on my contract, so I had to play, but when I played, I played badly.”