The Football Association (FA) are set to launch new rules regarding concussions in amateur football following a campaign by Jeff Astle’s family.
Jeff Astle, who played for numerous professional teams, died of a brain condition most commonly seen in boxing, leading to his family urging the FA to improve the safety of players who suffered head injuries. Although the Premier League has rules in place due to a number of high-profile incidents, there was still a lack of protection in the lower leagues, according to critics.
Following the death of Astle, it was ruled that he had died as a result of illness caused by his headers of heavy leather footballs throughout his playing career.
Correct to Implement
Dave Reddin, head of performance services at the FA, stated that the organisation had been slow to act to such a dangerous injury. He led a panel aiming to improve the conditions for former and current amateur players. Despite the best efforts of the panel, he admitted that one of the major stumbling blocks was due to the difficulties of ensuring that the new rules were followed.
Former players at a grassroots level, many of whom are now coaching, praised the decision by the FA. Many stated that regardless of the official rules taking a long time to come into effect, the fact that there was some attempt to deal with concussion was an improvement. Many of the coaches stated that when they were injured or suffered a concussion, they had to work out what to do themselves.
Concussions in Sport
There has been a number of high-profile head injuries in football and the world of sport. Goalkeeper Petr Cech was the victim of a horrific stamp that saw him suffer a fractured skull. Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris suffered a concussion when he was dealt a blow to the head by an opposition striker’s knee. Despite this, the keeper played on, leading to the passing of new rules to protect players.
The Six Nations campaign this year saw George North knocked out while playing against England. Despite a slow motion replay in front of 82,000 fans and the coaching staff, North was not taken off leading to much criticism, and claims of negligence regarding the Welsh coaching and medical staff.
Although there have been rules put in place to ensure the protection of players, what are the dangers of a concussion, and how much do legal rules truly protect the players?
Suffering A Concussion
Concussions are most common following a blow to the head and can often occur when playing sports. Although some concussions can be mild, it is important that if you suffer from concussion, or any head knock, that you seek medical treatment. Suffering a head injury can lead to serious problems later in life and by having a medical examination, you are ensuring that your potential injury is monitored and given the all clear.
Concussions can have numerous effects and symptoms such as:
- General dizziness
- Feel unbalanced or dazed
- Memory loss
Failure to treat a concussion can lead to losing consciousness, brain damage, memory loss, long term illnesses or even death.
Making A Claim
If you have been the victim of a head knock and suffered a concussion or head injury, you may be able to claim for compensation. If you have suffered an injury playing a non-contact sport, you may be able to take legal action if there was malice or recklessness in the build up to the injury. If you are the victim of a failure in duty of care, then you will be able to make a claim. If your club, team or coach knows you are injured but makes you play, they could be accountable for your injury. If you have suffered from a long term injury as a result of negligence, then you could also be entitled to compensation.
In order to make a claim, it is important that you are open and honest with our solicitors. If you are directly responsible for your head injury when playing a sport, e.g. insinuating a fight, you will not be able to make a claim. Our solicitors will require as many details as possible about the injury and the accident. In order to do so, they may need the details of eyewitnesses and a medical report assessing your injury
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