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Postcode Lottery Of Amateur Football Insurance Leaves Injured Players Unable To Seek Help

Many Injured Players Left Unable To Work And Without Cover For Injuries


Amateur weekend footballers suffering injuries in player-to-player incidents are being let down by their football clubs and local county Football Associations because of a ‘postcode lottery’ of Personal Accident Insurance (PAI).

Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have heard from a number of amateur footballers who have been left unable to work after serious injuries while playing but are unable to access sufficient insurance payouts, despite their clubs having policies in place.

The Football Association’s (FA) new regulations require all 11-a-side amateur football players to be covered by PAI through their football clubs, in a bid to ensure injured parties have some way of recovering necessary damages. It was also hoped the requirement for mandatory insurance would reduce the likelihood of litigation between players.

However, Irwin Mitchell has found the level of cover provided to players varies wildly across the country as the minimum cover level is determined by County FAs at a local level. In many cases the level of cover is very basic and does not provide injured players with appropriate compensation in the event of player-to-player incidents. This means some injured players are being forced to take legal action to recover their lost earnings they suffer as a result of their injury.

Expert injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have been instructed by a number of players who have found that the level of cover is too basic and that there are loopholes preventing injured people from being able to seek the assistance they need from the insurance.

  • James Curson, a self-employed bricklayer from Beckenham, underwent knee surgery and was unable to work for seven months, but the PAI insurance at his club pays out £25 per week and does not cover loss of earnings.
  • Mariusz Manczak, a dairy worker from Rednal, Birmingham required surgery on a broken leg and was unable to work for three months. His county FA doesn’t demand insurance covers player-to-player injuries at all.

Kelly Ferguson, a specialist personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: 

According to the latest figures from Sport England, 1,926,900 people aged 16 or over play football once a week, every week, which indicates the scale of this issue, as many are playing with the belief they are insured against injury.

As well as the insurance put in place by football clubs providing insufficient cover to players, it can be difficult to secure compensation through litigation, as the injured party must prove that the injury was caused by the negligent actions of the offending player.

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