FIFA tightens concussion rules

Concussion has become a key concern in football, with several high-profile examples – notably Uruguay’s Alvaro Pereira and Germany’s Christoph Kramer at the 2014 World Cup – of players carrying on despite suffering head injuries.

The proposals, which will have to be approved by FIFA’s executive committee after being suggested by the medical committee, will give referees the ability to stop games for three minutes to allow the team doctor to carry out an on-pitch assessment of the injured player.

Following the assessment, only the team doctor will have the authority to decide whether the player can continue or not.

“The incidents at the World Cup have shown that the role of team doctors needs to be reinforced in order to ensure the correct management of potential cases of concussion in the heat of the competition,” read a FIFA statement.

The medical committee also recommended a comprehensive programme of education for team doctors, coaches, referees and players.

The move follows similar action by both UEFA and the Premier League this season, while there has also been discussion across many other contact sports.