Premier League Admits Disappointment After Football Lawmakers Reject Temporary Concussion Substitute Trial


The Premier League has admitted being disappointed after football’s lawmaker rejected a temporary concussion substitution trial.

International Footballers Association Board, IFAB, in its annual meeting in London, rejected the proposal as put forward by the Premier League.

A Premier League statement issued after IFAB disapprove the idea expressed its disappointment on why IFAB has decided to shove it.

The idea was reportedly pushed by the Premier League including other football stakeholders such as Professional Footballers Association and club doctors.

They wrote separate letters to FIFA asking IFAB to approve a plan to try the innovation in football.

Current football regulations allow permanent substitution for players who suffer severe injuries such as head injuries or concussions. However, the regulation is still allowed as a trial for a possible final decision in the future.

Premier League

Reacting to the decision to reject the trial, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the body is concerned about players’ well-being and ensuring “zero risks’ in scenarios of temporary substitutions.

The body is also concerned about the authenticity and other logistical problems that may be encountered in an attempt to run the trial and come out with a meaningful and valid conclusion.

Recall in 2020, IFAB issued a statement endorsing a permanent concussion trial when a player suffers a head injury during games. They claimed it is part of the in-game management of neurological injuries and also safeguards the health and well-being of the players.

The body went on to elaborate on the slated trial procedures and had given the nod for the trial which is ongoing.

Now, the push by the Premier League to experiment with the temporary concussion substitution has been seen as a distraction by IFAB while the permanent concussion substitution trial is still in progress.

Meanwhile, the Premier League reiterated their concern with the decision given the massive support the idea received from major football stakeholders.

“We are disappointed that a temporary concussion substitute trial was not approved considering all available scientific evidence and the overwhelming support from Premier League club doctors,” the statement reads.

Premier League

Notably, the Premier League in the statement recognized the decision of IFAB to reject does not imply the outright dismissal of the idea but a delay. What a fantastic job by the premier league if they are not in support of this?

They hope the idea will be treated with a due sense of urgency to protect the interest and welfare of the players.

“While we note that a trial has not been dismissed, we remain convinced it should go ahead at the earliest possible opportunity in the interests of player welfare.”

Concussion substitutions has been pushed as one of the best ways to manage critical and severe injuries during games, especially head-related injuries resulting from collisions with another player or unintended hits by strikes.

Currently, the permanent concussion substitution trial is continuing indefinitely. The concern is when IFAB will adopt it officially and allow temporary concussion substitution trial to begin.

IFAB are unyielding in their position that a parallel concussion substitution (temporary concussion substitution trial) trial cannot be undertaken while the latter (permanent concussion substitution) is ongoing.

As things stand, if a player suffers a severe injury to the head during a game, he will permanently be substituted, not temporarily.

Running the temporary concussion substitution trial means football regulations must allow club medics determine whether to remove a player permanently or temporarily during games.

With it’s trajectory of uncertainty, IFAB are vehemently opposed to the trial. Their skepticism hinges on how medics can quickly determine whether a player can play again or not after the injury.


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