PLAYERS who are even suspected of losing consciousness during a match will have to be removed from the game and not allowed to return, under new rules announced by the Football Association.
Under new guidelines to deal with head injuries, even if there is no loss of consciousness then an assessment should take place on the pitch or the touchline to judge whether there is a risk of concussion.
It follows a number of incidents last season, including at the World Cup, where players continued despite appearing to have been concussed.
The new guidelines state: “If there has been a confirmed or suspected period of loss of consciousness, the player must be removed from the field of play, and not be allowed to return.
“If there is any doubt as to the course of events, elucidation may be sought from officials or other players. In the event that there is video replay available pitch-side or in the players’ tunnel, this could be used to clarify the course of events.
“Where no loss of consciousness is apparent an on-field or touchline assessment will take place.”
A campaign on head injury treatment, supported by the Premier League, Football League and League Manager’s Association, will be accompanied by an education programme in conjunction with the Professional Footballers’ Association.
England stars including Steven Gerrard, Leighton Baines and Rickie Lambert have contributed to a video produced by the FA.