Ban on children heading balls in Scotland could be introduced in 'a matter of weeks'

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The Scottish FA appears to be moving closer to introducing a ban on children heading balls owing to fears of dementia.

BBC Scotland has reported the ban could be in place in 'a matter of weeks' because of fears over possible links between football and dementia.

The ban on heading in training could be in place very soon. Picture: Getty Images

The ban on heading in training could be in place very soon. Picture: Getty Images

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It is understood a ban on under-12s heading balls in training will be announced later this month.

Although the US introduced a similar ban in 2015, Scotland would become the first European country to do so.

In October, a study was released linking former footballers with degenerative brain disease, spurring many medics to call for a common sense ban on heading for children.

The Scottish FA's doctor, John MacLean, said: "We can't wait on the evidence one way or the other on heading.

"We need to take some sensible, pragmatic steps at the moment and that's largely going to be about trying to reduce that overall burden, the overall times that young players head - and heading in training is much more common than in matches.

"The study was never designed to, and couldn't identify, why, but I think most people would say, pragmatically that it would be head injury or heading, in whatever combination that would be."

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Dr Willie Stewart, who led the study, is pleased with the steps the governing body is taking.

He said: "I'm delighted. I think that while there were many questions left unanswered by our report, I think the one thing that came through is that football needs to change in some way.

"We can't go on looking at a risk of three and a half times higher neurogenerative disease in footballers and not do something about it, so this is great."