Concussions have been as hot of a topic as any in sports in the past few years, with multiple lawsuits and rule changes occurring across various leagues in an effort to combat head injuries. It now appears that European football will be the next to follow suit as the Premier League concussion policies are set to undergo changes when the 2014-15 season begins on August 16.
The new policy will include any player with a head injury being required to leave the field. He will then be evaluated by a doctor who will decide whether he can return to play. The team’s coaching staff will have zero say in the matter.1 Home teams must provide a “tunnel” doctor to work for both teams. That doctor will serve as an extra check to ensure that no players will possible concussions are still on the pitch. All players will also have to undergo baseline neurological scans annually.
Kevin Phillips, coach with Leicester City, thinks that the move is good one for the sport.
“I think it’s pretty sensible,” Phillips told BBC Sport. “Certainly as a player you want to be back on the football pitch but we’ve seen cases over the years where I think it has to be taken out of the player’s hands.
“It may frustrate quite a few managers but the health and safety of the players comes first.”
This is happening in the wake of a World Cup where players kept playing when they probably shouldn’t have, most notably Christoph Kramer. The Cup didn’t really have any strict protocol in place, which led to outrage from some commentators and players who are more concerned with health. It’s likely that controversy played a major part in these changes coming to the Premier League. It’s also likely that these changes will spread to other European leagues soon.