MLS pushing for temporary substitutes for head injuries

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Soccer will keep on pushing the sport’s international rules-makers to allow a trial of temporary substitutes for players suspected of concussions.

The International Football Association Board, which decides rules, said Saturday that it will continue with trials of permanent substitutions for players suspected of head injuries. MLS and England’s Premier League proposed having injured players be assessed for a longer period and have the potential to rejoin the match.

“We strongly believe in the benefits of conducting the trial and welcome the opportunity to share the data and learnings from such a trial with the global soccer community,” MLS said in a statement Tuesday. “The proposed temporary concussion substitution protocol was developed with MLS’s medical advisers and would allow club medical professionals to conduct a structured off-field evaluation of players suspected of sustaining a concussion.”

The MLS Players Association has criticized the IFAB, which includes four representatives from FIFA and one each from the governing bodies of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

MLS said it will work with the Premier League, the French league, the MLS union, the international union FIFPRO and the World Leagues Forum to push the IFAB to trial temporary substitutes.

“In the meantime, we will continue to evaluate our options as we work with our players and clubs on implementing our current MLS head injury/concussion evaluation and management protocol,” the league said.


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