Group of former, current soccer players file concussion lawsuit against FIFA
A group of current and former football players have claimed that FIFA is not doing enough to manage the issue of concussion in the game and have filed a lawsuit against football's world governing body for the same.
The action, which is also targeted at U.S. Youth Soccer, American Youth Soccer and others, alleges these groups have failed to adopt effective policies to evaluate and manage concussions.
It has also claimed that women and children are put in danger by a lack of adequate rules to manage concussion, as they are more vulnerable to traumatic and long-lasting brain injury, CNN reported.
The lawsuit seeks no financial damages and instead is insisting on rule changes it has been suggesting for over a decade.
The plaintiffs, which include Rachel Mehr, a former youth club soccer player, and several parents on behalf of their children in youth soccer leagues, are led by attorney Steve Berman.
Berman said in a statement that despite simple, best-practice guidelines, which have been updated three times since the initial international conference on concussions, FIFA has failed to enact the policies and rules needed to protect soccer players.
Berman said that they believe it is imperative that they force these organizations to put a stop to hazardous practices that put players at unnecessary risk.
He added that the negligence is remarkable, given that FIFA actively promotes its activities to children. Yet, he said that no rule limits headers in children's soccer, and children are often taught to head the ball from the age of three.
The lawsuit, filed in California, claims FIFA guidelines appear to suggest it is referees and players who diagnose brain injuries and not medical professionals.
It wants provision made for temporary substitutions to be allowed when a player is being examined for a brain injury, above the permitted three per match, and a limit on how many times players under 17 can head the ball, the report added.
(Posted on 28-08-2014)