PPF - 18th January 2023 - IFAB Rejects Concussion Substitutions

PPF - 18th January 2023 - IFAB Rejects Concussion Substitutions

18th January 2023

Today, The International Football Association Board (IFAB), has rejected an application to trial temporary concussion substitutions in leading leagues, including the Premier League and Ligue 1.

The request, made by the World Leagues Forum and FIFPRO on behalf of their members, aimed to introduce the trials from the beginning of next season.

This comes after several high-profile concussion incidents in football, particularly at the men's World Cup, which has reignited calls to change current protocols to better protect players. The PFA, one of the leading player unions behind the application, expressed disappointment with IFAB's decision.

PFA Head of Brain Health, Dr Adam White, said: "It’s extremely disappointing that IFAB’s members have yet again passed on the opportunity to introduce what we believe would be a valuable tool to better protect player welfare.

“We believe the introduction of temporary concussion substitutes is now increasingly seen as a common-sense measure to better protect players.”

The application marked the strongest statement of support for temporary substitutions to date, and the leagues and player associations are now left to consider their next steps.

Dr White added: “There is a fundamental issue if player unions and leagues feel football’s lawmakers are holding them back from doing what they collectively agree is best to protect the safety of players.”

“Many will rightly ask, ‘if not now, when?’”

IFAB, which is made up of the Football Associations of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and FIFA, did not reach a consensus on the proposal. However, the permanent concussion substitute trial will continue indefinitely.