Concussion subs approved by football lawmakers as FA eyes January introduction

Football's lawmakers have approved "extensive trials" for additional permanent concussion substitutes.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) announced on Wednesday that it had given the go-ahead for trials to start from January 2021.

A statement read: "Following consultation with key stakeholders and recommendations from the Concussion Expert Group (CEG) and the IFAB's Football and Technical Advisory Panels (FAP-TAP), today's annual business meeting approved extensive trials with additional permanent substitutions for actual or suspected concussion as of January 2021."

IFAB said that its members "agreed that, in the event of an actual or suspected concussion, the player in question should be permanently removed from the match to protect their welfare, but the player's team should not suffer a numerical disadvantage".

The Football Association had already stated that it was hoping to introduce the additional substitute at the "earliest possible stage" of the men's and women's FA Cup competitions, as well as the Women's Super League and Championship.

The FA said in a statement: "The Football Association welcomes today’s announcement from the IFAB Football and Technical Advisory Panels [FAP-TAP] in relation to trials of an additional permanent substitution for concussions.

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"The FA will support the IFAB FAP-TAP’s proposal at the forthcoming IFAB Annual Business Meeting on 16 December 2020 with a view to implementing the trials at the earliest possible stages of the 2020/21 Emirates FA Cup and Vitality Women’s FA Cup.

"Player welfare is paramount and we believe that this is an important step to help support players, clubs and medical teams when identifying and managing head injuries and incidents of concussion during a game."

It is understood the Premier League is waiting to see the detail of the concussion protocol from IFAB before making a decision.

Its clubs are meeting on Thursday, and there could be a vote on when and if to make the change at that meeting.

What else can football lawmakers do to help protect player welfare? Have your say here.

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