Premier League agrees to introduce concussion substitutes trial

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The Premier League has agreed to trail the use of up to two concussion substitutes per team during top-flight fixtures.

No start date has been announced, but the decision comes amid growing concerns over the impact of head injuries and heading the ball.

The trial will allow each team to make up to two changes for players who have sustained – or are suspected of having – a concussion.

This is in addition to the three substitutions already permitted in Premier League fixtures, while teams will be able to withdraw a player with concussion or suspected concussion regardless of how many regular changes they have made.

The Premier League has agreed to introduce concussion substitutes
(Image: EMPICS Sport)

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"Premier League shareholders today formally agreed to introduce the International Football Association Board's (IFAB) additional permanent concussion substitutions trial," said the Premier League in a statement.

"The trial will be confirmed when the implementation of the reporting processes, including private medical information, has been resolved with IFAB and FIFA.

"With player welfare the Premier League's priority, the protocols will allow a maximum of two concussion substitutes to be used per team, with the opposition side able to use the equivalent number.

"The additional concussion substitutions may be made regardless of the number of substitutions a team have made already.

"The trial is a result of the IFAB's consultation with stakeholders and recommendations from their concussion expert group to allow additional substitutions for players with actual or suspected concussion."

The Premier League confirmed in December it had agreed in principle to trial concussion substitutes, after the IFAB approved "extensive trials" to begin in January.

The Football Association said in November it welcomed the imminent decision and that it planned to introduce concussion substitutes to FA Cup and Women's FA Cup fixtures as soon as possible.

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