The NFL says it is willing to share information on head injuries with football’s governing bodies.
In the weeks following a University of Glasgow report which revealed that footballers were at significantly higher risk of neurodegenerative illness than the general public, and on the back of UEFA’s calls for temporary head injury substitutions, the American football league says it is ready to meet with football’s officials in order to share knowledge and best practice.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB), the body in charge of changing the rules of the game, will meet in the coming days to discuss potential changes to the laws, including temporary substitutes. In October, UEFA announced a new concussion awareness campaign, and President Aleksander Ceferin called for changes to the rules, saying: “The health of players is of utmost importance and I strongly believe that the current regulations on concussion need updating to protect both the players and the doctors, in order to ensure that an appropriate diagnosis can be made without disadvantaging the teams affected, and I am delighted that FIFA and IFAB have responded positively to UEFA’s suggestions on this.”
Dr Allen SIlls, Chief Medical Officer, NFL, said: “There has been tremendous progress but by no means have we solved the problem. We are very eager to share what we have learnt and what we have been doing with other sporting leagues and codes around the world.”
“We do not need to wait for studies or data to determine whether banging your head against something is a good idea.
“The best treatment for any condition is prevention. In our case, prevention or reduction of avoidable head contact. I think most of us are pretty settled on that point. The challenge is to figure how we can reduce the incidence of head contact and mitigate those forces wherever possible.”