By Bryan Swanson, Sky Sports News chief reporter
Last Updated: 03/12/19 11:59pm
Serge Aurier being tested for concussion during a Tottenham match
Trials involving concussion substitutes may be introduced next season after the European Championships, football lawmakers have confirmed.Â
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has agreed to appoint an expert group to assess options during a game.
The group, consisting of medical sports specialists and football experts, will be asked to make recommendations at an IFAB annual general meeting at the end of February next year.
“It’s very early days,” said Patrick Nelson, chief executive of the Irish Football Association. “We will get that group together fairly quickly, over the next month or so.
“We will try and get them to come up with some ideas. If they can bring proposals, we may well be able to licence some experiments, in this area, for next season.”
Nelson appeared to rule out the possibility of concussion substitutes during next summer’s Euro 2020.
“I think we’re talking about next season, rather than the European Championships,” Nelson told Sky Sports News. “We will make sure that we’ve got good experts from around the world. We need to get a good geographic spread.
“We need to get people from football and other contact sports, who have experience of working on concussion matters in sport. We will try to come up with some ways of having trials in competitions from next season.”
Lawmakers have been criticised for failing to introduce concussion substitutes in the game.
Headway, the brain injury association, expressed its disappointment over the “unnecessary delay” in introducing substitutes.
But IFAB believes it is acting in the best interests of the global game.
“It’s a very serious issue,” Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports News, in his new role as FIFA Chief of Global Football Development. “The health and safety of players is the priority. We will try to do what is requested to protect the players.”
“We’re taking it as seriously as we can,” added Nelson. “At our next meeting at the end of February, we will take some data from that [expert] group and run some trials next season.”