Experts have been enlisted by the Football Association (FA) to help the governing body decide how to deal with head injuries and concussion.
The FA has asked leading professionals in the field to form an independent panel, which will “review guidelines…to ensure football remains as safe as possible for those participating in it.”
The panel, led by neurosurgeon Peter Hamlyn, will meet for the first time next month, with the issue having come into sharp focus following the case of former West Brom and England forward Jeff Astle.
“We have seen an improvement in guidance and communication in this area of sports medicine, but we are conscious there is potentially much more to do across what is the nation’s largest and most popular team sport,” said Dave Reddin, head of performance services at the FA.
“The group will also be asked to help advise on how football’s world governing body should examine and research any long-term effects on the brain through head injury or repeated concussion episodes.
“We have taken a few more weeks to institute the group than anticipated, due to a new structure forming at St. George’s Park, and the willingness and desire to ensure the work is thoughtful and thorough.
“I genuinely believe we now have the right people on-board to be able to provide the right level of insight for such an important issue.”
Discussion of head injuries in football has become more prevalent recently, with West Brom fans mounting a lengthy campaign to raise awareness after the death of former striker Astle.
Astle passed away in 2002, with the coroner’s report finding the cause to be multiple minor traumas to the brain brought about by repeated heading of a football.
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