FIFPRO has pushed professional football stakeholders for many years to raise awareness about concussion and introduce an optimal concussion protocol. We have set up concussion working groups with both UEFA and the European Leagues. FIFPRO Chief Medical Officer Prof. Vincent Gouttebarge is one of the members of the Concussion Expert Group of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) that reviewed the current protocol.
UEFA’s Euro 2020 Concussion Charter, which includes neurological baseline testing and access to in-match television replays for team doctors, is an encouraging step forward; the measures announced align with some of our requests in recent years.
It remains crucial education about concussion is imparted properly and continuously throughout the professional game in cooperation with player unions. To make sure footballers are protected by a world-class concussion protocol, the game still requires better assessment and concussion management safeguards. These includes upholding a minimum 6-day gradual return to play and changes to the laws of the game to enable a pilot project for temporary concussion substitutions.
When it comes to the treatment of a suspected concussion, there is still more to be done to ensure there is complete alignment between all professional football stakeholders, sporting staff and the players themselves.