English football launches plan for players' brain health

i24NEWS - Reuters

3 min read
Ollie Watkins (R) and Patson Daka fight for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Leicester City at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, December 5, 2021.
AP Photo/Rui VieiraOllie Watkins (R) and Patson Daka fight for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Leicester City at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, December 5, 2021.

The joint action plan will focus on research, education, awareness, and support for players

England’s Football Association (FA), the Premier League, and other soccer governing bodies launched a joint action plan to understand, promote, and protect the brain health of players in a statement on Tuesday.

"Understanding the risk factors of neurodegenerative disease in football in an incredibly complex area of medical science,” said FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham, Reuters reported.

"Football is working together to try to build a more complete picture by supporting a variety of projects," he added.

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The joint action plan - with cooperation from the English Football League and Professional Footballers’ Association - will focus on research, education, awareness, and support for players.

"Until we have a greater level of understanding, we are also reducing the potential risk factors,” Bullinghma said.

Dementia in professional soccer was highlighted last year by the death of England’s Nobby Stiles, who was diagnosed with the condition along with many of his teammates.

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Britain’s government was called on in July of this year to mandate a minimum standard for concussions across sports in a bid to reduce the risk of brain injuries among athletes.

The Premier League and other governing bodies announced the same month that English soccer would limit the number of high-force headers in training during the 2021-2022 season, Reuters reported.

"This new joint action plan will further help to build our understanding across English football of this complex area," Bullingham said.