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FIFA Medical Committee proposes new concussion protocol

Christoph Kramer of Germany is taken off with an injury in the first half

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After seeing several high-profile incidents at this summer’s World Cup, FIFA are finally taking action regarding the management of concussions.

FIFA announced Tuesday that the organization’s Medical Committee has agreed to submit a new proposal to the FIFA Executive Committee in an effort to improve the handling of concussions.

Under the new proposal, when a suspected concussion occurs, the referee will be able to stop the game at hand for three minutes to give team doctors the opportunity to assess the state of the injury. The referee will then allow the player to play only if the player receives the approval of the team doctor.

“The issue of concussion in football has been broadly discussed following recent high profile cases at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, particularly the incident which involved the German player Christoph Kramer during the final match,” FIFA said in a statement. “FIFA has been active in this field for many years, carrying out a number of scientific studies and hosting several conferences with international sports federations which led to clear recommendations on the subject.

“However, 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 the competition.”

UEFA previously adopted the three-minute protocol last week and will apply it in next week’s Champions League group stage games.

What do you think of FIFA’s new concussion protocol? Is FIFA doing enough to prevent and treat head injuries?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. They should make it that the default position is to remove the player from the game. 3 minutes of testing on the field of a noisy stadium seems inadequate. The NFL protocol (now) is to test the player in the locker room. For instance one part of the NFL test is whether or not a player can remember words given to them at least 5 minutes earlier. Hard to do that in 3 minutes.

    Would also definitely help if it was an independent 3rd party. If the concussion “judge” rules the player, out give the team an extra sub.

    • Agree that greater independence/impartiality. in evaluating head injuries is almost certainly necessary going forward. , but the extra sub is an absolute non-starter. Unfortunately, this would get badly abused. Head knocks happen all the time, and concussions can be “faked” even more easily than they can be concealed. This would become a tempting option if a team needs a fresh set of legs for extra time, or wants to make a tactical change and doesn’t want to spend its last sub (or is out of subs). And no doctor on the planet is going to accept the liability of saying to a player who has taken a blow to the head of any sort– “he’s faking— send him back out there”

    • You would probably also need to grant reentry for the player who was being tested. Would the sub who came in for him then also be granted reentry, assuming he was only on for 5-10 minutes?

      The substitution rules will need some major concussion-related tweaking.


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