0370 1500 100

Temporary Substitutions Call Follows Player's Concussion Withdrawal

Manager Redknapp Calls For Players To Be Allowed Back On


The debate over how concussion in football should be dealt with has taken a new turn, with Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp calling for temporary substitutions.

Speaking after midfielder Sandro had to leave the field after just 11 minutes of Saturday's game against Southampton with apparent concussion, the veteran boss suggested the use of temporary replacements could allow medical staff a chance to properly assess if a player was fit to return to the field or not. 

"Medical people have got to be so careful, they can't take a chance because if anything went wrong there would be massive trouble," he acknowledged.

However, Redknapp added: "At half-time, there didn't seem to be a lot wrong with Sandro. He was fine in the changing rooms, he didn't look too bad at all but obviously the doctors have got to err on the side of caution."

The call for a new form of substitution came after the introduction of new Premier League rules for this season, which make it obligatory for any player suspected of having concussion to be withdrawn from the field immediately.

One recent notable incident involving the concussion of a player was that of Christoph Kramer, whose dream debut for Germany came in the World Cup final in Brazil in July. 

His night soon turned into a nightmare after a blow to the head, after which he was allowed to play on for a few minutes before being withdrawn from the action.

Speaking to German TV show Sports Studio, team-mates Philip Lahm, Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller all joked that he had made some curious remarks while concussed, such as asking Neuer if he could take his place in goal.

However, it may have been no laughing matter had Kramer taken a second blow to the head, which may have had serious consequences.

Expert Opinion
Head injuries and concussion are serious matters in sport and the debate over how to deal with these incidents has been in the spotlight in recent months. The situation at the weekend was the first demonstration of the new rules implemented ahead of the Premier League season by the FA.

“It is important head injuries are taken seriously and players are removed from the field if concussion is suspected, as delayed treatment and diagnosis can lead to serious consequences for the player involved. The introduction of temporary replacements for those who have suffered a head injury, as occurs in other sports, is a measure that needs to be investigated and if practicable, implemented into the Premier League and within other competitions and sports.

“While these measures are positive, it is still troubling to see players joking about the impact of head injuries and concussion, as the comments made by members of the German national team highlight that these incidents may not be taken as seriously as they should be by those in the game. It is vital more is done to raise awareness of the life-changing impact head injuries can have on players and the lives of their loved ones, to ensure players err on the side of caution and do not risk further injury by re-joining the game."
Stephen Nye, Partner

© 2017 Irwin Mitchell LLP is Authorised & Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our Regulatory Information.