It seems as if UEFA are finally about to start taking brain injuries seriously.
UEFA have commissioned a new study for researchers to investigate the links between heading a football and dementia.
Existing research that the BBC, described as ‘tentative’, conducted on six players who like to head the ball, has shown that repeatedly heading the ball could result in dementia in later life.
UEFA claim that the study “aims to help establish the risk posed to young players during matches and training sessions”.
Although it’s widely recognised that repeated hits to the head aren’t great for the brain, many don’t realise the damage that merely heading a ball can do, nor do many make the link between this and dementia, which is worrying.
It’s fantastic that UEFA appear to be taking this seriously. However, the FA still need to pull their finger out as they’ve yet to confirm their own study into the matter.
These new findings come at a particularly poignant time since not only did Hector Bellerin suffer a concussion following an elbow to the face against Chelsea but, in January, Hull’s Ryan Mason clashed heads with Gary Cahill, fracturing his skull and landing him in hospital.
Fortunately, Mason is awake and talking to doctors but more research into head and brain injuries, what heading the ball can do and its long term effects can only be a good thing for football.