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As the start of the World Cup draws near, there are many aspects of the competition, as well as the rules that are being introduced to the public. One of those protocols is the one associated with concussion.
FIFA did its homework when it comes to concussions. They have maintained a productive relationship with health experts that familiarized themselves with possible situations that can occur when a player suffers a head injury. These kinds of situations are fairly common in football, but sometimes those circumstances go unnoticed, even though players suffer through head pain from confrontation with an opposing player, as well as using the upper part of the body, namely his head to hit the ball in certain situations. There was even a discussion recently when certain individuals proposed a protocol that would seriously diminish head use in football matches.
Of course, those are only some suggestions at this point. When it comes to the World Cup, especially because it will be held at an unusual time of the year, injury concerns are at the highest level, so FIFA Medical Team introduced different measures that would protect, and eventually heal players if there were serious injuries.
Concussions certainly are considered serious injuries. There is an example from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It was a battle between Germany and Argentina. Christoph Kramer, a German player was involved in a collision with the opposing player Ezequiel Garay. There was a long treatment for the head injury Kramer suffered after which he asked the referee Nicola Rizzoli: ‘Excuse me, is this the final?’
Kramer went through a concussion and he shouldn’t have continued to play in that condition. This is a case that FIFA studied closely to avoid in future tournaments starting with the Qatar World Cup. The team of experts worked hard to understand what went wrong in that situation so it doesn’t happen again. This is the main purpose of the brand new protocol that will be strongly followed by all the delegates, and officials that will be involved in on-field action.
The additional substitution rule
FIFA Medical Concussion Protocol has put in place several rules that every person involved with matches will have to follow to the letter. Dr. Andrew Massey, one of the leading medical professionals involved with the new system explained that this kind of guide allows medical personnel to follow step-by-step instructions on how to deal with head injuries, including basic brain screenings which gives doctors a new perspective to understand how a certain case of concussion leads to different problems for players alike.
FIFA Medical Staff will open several polyclinics with a state of the art medical equipment that will be at their disposal in any given situation whenever it is required to act to protect players’ health. Another aspect of this protocol is the cooperation with the national team’s doctors. This is something that FIFA worked hard to agree with national federations, and it will make it easier for everyone involved to get the best possible care.
The results of this protocol were already adopted by the Premier League and allow a team to make an additional substitution that doesn’t include five already put in place. The protocol will be implemented from the start of the World Cup.