Call for independent doctors at football matches amid alarming dementia study – The News

Call for independent doctors at football matches amid alarming dementia study – The News
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 Players’ union boss Bobby Barnes has called for independent doctors to be on duty at every match to help concussion injuries  It comes after a shock report into brain injuries showed that former footballers are 3 5 times more likely to die from dementia.  But experts from Glasgow University who carried out the 22 month study could not prove whether it was down to heading the ball or concussion  Barnes, deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, has now supported calls for decisions to be taken out of the hands of club doctors who could feel under pressure to try and get players to carry on even after suffering concussion   Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen suffered a horror head injury in the Champions League semi final against Ajax in April but was allowed to briefly play on after being checked by a club doctor  But Vertonghen retched on the side of the pitch, had to be helped to the dressing room but Spurs later insisted he had not suffered concussion   Barnes, a former West Ham winger, who played in the 1980s and 90s, said: “I don’t want to criticise any particular football club, but it perhaps reinforces some of the things we are talking about independent arbitrators of these decisions because sometimes it’s a very difficult decision for a club doctor  “There are the pressures that he will have from the management of his football club and my own personal view is that it would be good to support those club medics by actually taking that decision out of their hands and actually leaving it for an independent person to do so  “I personally would (have independent doctors) and I know that is within the FIFPro recommendations along with TV playback We are looking for an overall solution but the key is using the technology to get the best possible solution and make it the safest workplace we can  “We had a campaign a while ago – Don’t Be A Hero – because sometimes players would be knocked out, try and continue and sometimes you have to be the one that makes a decision and takes the decision out of their hands ”  It comes as both the PFA and Football Association said they would support “concussion substitutes” which would allow a temporary sub to come on and play while doctors assessed injuries  The research studied 7,676 pre and post-war players in Scotland and 222 had died from dementia Read More Mirror Football’s Top Stories  Research shows that players head the ball significantly less, modern balls retain less water than old fashioned leather footballs and therefore they do not feel the need to ban headers in youth football  Barnes added: “There is post-mortem brain donation and I can confirm that there are former players who have already agreed to do this In fact, it includes five of our own staff within the PFA who have agreed to do this  “When you talk about the boxing analogy, sadly they do tend to examine after the event I’m very much in that category. As far as I’ve been concerned, I’ve been impacted by these results because I was born in 1962  “But if you were to ask me whether this study would have an impact on my desire to be a professional footballer, I certainly was privileged to play a sport I love and I’d be surprised if it deterred young players from going into the game ”

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