The World Leagues Forum and FIFPRO have written to IFAB to request an explanation for the decision not to allow a temporary concussion substitute trial.
In January, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) decided not to permit a 2023 trial of temporary substitutions in the case of suspected concussion in football.
Football leagues and player unions in England, France, and the United States had petitioned to be allowed to carry out the trial, but IFAB turned them all down.
Jamie Gardner of PA Sport now reports that the World Leagues Forum and FIFPRO wrote to IFAB on Monday to try and determine the specific grounds for the decision, and to obtain the minutes of the annual business meeting where the trial was rejected.
It’s now seemingly off the table for the trial to take place next season, with Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham admitting that a potential Premier League trial has now been “pushed further away”.
For those unaware, the temporary concussion substitutions would have allowed teams to take a player off and replace them with a substitute in cases of a suspected concussion.
The player could then be assessed, and either return to the action or remain off the pitch depending on the results of that assessment.
As it stands, teams do have the option of an additional substitute for concussion, but it’s a permanent swap.
This leads to an unfortunate incentive to ignore possible concussion symptoms to guarantee a player isn’t taken off unnecessarily, as they can’t be brought back on once that decision is made.
If there’s any doubt about whether they have a concussion, the medics should be able to give the players a proper assessment without worrying that they need to rush a decision for sporting reasons.