MIKE KEEGAN: Temporary concussion substitutes will NOT be trialled in the Premier League, as Sportsmail columnist Chris Sutton branded IFAB ‘Buffoons’ for rejecting the decision
Temporary concussion substitutes will not be trialled in the Premier League after ‘idiotic’ rulemakers rejected proposals in a move which ‘beggars belief’.
Sportsmail columnist and campaigner Chris Sutton has branded IFAB (International Football Association Board) the ‘International Federation of Buffoons’ after they turned down an FA-backed request to introduce the protocol in the top flight, MLS and Ligue 1.
It had been thought that the move would be given the green light. But, following a contentious summit, IFAB said that ‘no consensus could be reached’ and that effective ways of implementing the current system of permanent concussion subs would instead be explored.
Temporary concussion substitutes will not be trialled in the Premier League going forward
IFAB has turned down an FA-backed request to introduce the protocol in the top flight
‘It’s utterly idiotic,’ said Sutton. ‘Brainless. Are these people stupid? It’s not rocket science. Did these people not see the World Cup? The Iran goalkeeper against England – nearly gets his head knocked off and stays on the field. It beggars belief. They are idiots.
’Sutton also called on current players to speak out. ‘Their families will be the ones suffering further down the road and asking why they didn’t get the best duty of care.
Chris Sutton branded the IFAB ‘Buffoons’
The players have the power. Why are we not hearing from them? They speak about plenty of other issues. You can have all the money in the world but it will not reverse the damage.’
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham, who chaired the meeting and who tabled the trial – which he is behind – was reluctant to point fingers.
He did, however, admit that the concussion debate was the ‘longest conversation’ in a meeting which overran by about 90 minutes.
When asked whether Premier League trial could still happen next season or had been pushed further away, he said: ‘It’s been pushed further away.
‘I tabled it a year ago, I tabled it again today. There are different points of view and they all have merit. I’m probably not the best person to give you both sides of the argument, but there won’t be IFAB support for a trial right now.’
The permanent concussion substitute trial will instead continue indefinitely. FIFA said they conducted a survey of team doctors that had adopted the trial, and found that 71 per cent supported the permanent concussion substitute model.
The move has also been slated by the PFA’s head of brain health Dr Adam Wright.
‘There is a fundamental issue if player unions and leagues feel football’s lawmakers are holding them back from doing what they collectively agree is best to protect the safety of players,’ he said.
Temporary concussion substitutes could still be trialled in the Premier League next season
‘The next step will be for unions and leagues to discuss what this means and what options are available to them.
‘We believe the introduction of temporary concussion substitutes is now increasingly seen as a common-sense measure to better protect players.‘Many will rightly ask “if not now, when?”’
Elsewhere at the meeting it was agreed that referees at next week’s Club World Cup — which include the English official Anthony Taylor — will for the first time explain the reasons for VAR decisions to the crowd at the stadium and the TV audience.
A proposal for a trial of a countdown clock to replace the referee as timekeeper was also rejected.