New rules about on field brain injuries during football matches have been introduced by the Premier League for the upcoming 2014/15 season, essentially giving doctors the final say on whether a player should be substituted or not.
The rules have come into place following an incident last year involving a goal keeper and a striker who came into contact during the game, resulting in the goal keeper losing consciousness. When the goal keeper regained consciousness, he decided to continue playing, despite a doctor advising he be substituted.
The rules say that if a player has been confirmed or suspected of losing consciousness during the game, that player must be removed from the field and not be allowed to return. To ensure this rule is enforced all Premier League teams across England and Wales must have a doctor watching the game on a TV monitor ensuring that potential losses of consciousness are not missed. The rules have also put in place a procedure for neuro-psychological testing of every player to be carried out at the beginning of each season as a baseline for testing their recovery.
Cari Sowden-Taylor (@Caricymru) is a specialist solicitor working within the brain injury team at Hugh James in Cardiff. Cari believes that the new rules are good news given that some concussion type head injury symptoms can take a while to become noticeable.