Do you remember the nasty blow to the head received by Germany’s Christoph Kramer during the World Cup? It was a very bad hit and he fell straight to the ground. What’s crazy about this is that he was allowed to continue playing while clearly still dazed. He b finally made his way off of the field almost 12 minutes later. This isn’t the first time parent’s and fans around the world have witnessed such negligence. This has become so concerning that a group of American parents have filed a class-action lawsuit against various organizations, including FIFA and U.S. Soccer. Their focal point is how head injuries are dealt with.
Encouraging their efforts are the developments from a class-action suit for Former NFL players. They received approval from a federal judge for an uncapped settlement, in July. It imposes the league’s responsibility to pay for dementia, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and other repeated head trauma related conditions that former players suffer from. This is evidence that change can occur, but parents are more interested in preventative measures. Just watch the movie Concussion and you will be horrified with the developments. We do not need another sport exemplifying such ailments.
The goal of the suit is aimed at changing the rules of soccer to prevent young players from the long-term effects of traumatic head injuries. Brain trauma is the focus, and it starts with improvement of how professional players are examined for and treated for concussions. Some suggestions include; players 16 and younger should only be permitted to head the ball a select number of times, and that on the professional level, substitution rules should be altered. As it stands now, only three substitutions are allotted per game. It makes it obvious why a coach would leave in a player who just suffered a serious knock to the head. The hope is to allow temporary subs for medical staff evaluations.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California filed the suit on Wednesday, and FIFA is the only non-American entity named in it. Parents hope that if FIFA creates rules governing concussions, then the smaller bodies will follow suit.