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CHRIS SUTTON: Don't kick the can down the road over brain injury

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 21/07/2021 Chris Sutton for the Daily Mail
Jeff Astle standing on a grass field posing for the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

The DCMS Committee's report is finally here. 

It says the FA and PFA didn't do enough (tell us something we don't know) and the UK's workplace health and safety regulator hasn't been regulating sport like it should. 

It's good to hear that recognised by the MPs but what I want to know is: what happens now? That's what the families of former footballers suffering with dementia are asking. 

a man wearing a football uniform: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

We don't want the can kicked down the road for the (insert ridiculous number here) time. We want action. We want change. We want a response. 

Football still needs a limit on heading in training to be introduced. Does this hurry that up? 

It still needs temporary concussion substitutes to come in, after Euro 2020 threw up several examples of how the 'extra permanent substitute' simply doesn't work. Is that going to happen? 

a person standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: ( © Provided by Daily Mail ( a group of football players on a field: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

It still needs coaches to be educated on why it's unnecessary for children to be heading the ball. Will that be set up? 

I'd give up my own time to go on a Zoom call with, say, Under-16 coaches from a certain area of the country. I've actually done that before with clubs local to me. 

But shouldn't the FA be setting this up? Guidelines currently say primary school kids should not be heading the ball, but some youth coaches out there might be reluctant to make changes to the way they were coached as kids themselves. 

They need educating, so let's give them that education. This is brain injury we're talking about. It's a very serious topic. 

a football player on a field: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

The DCMS's recommendation that UK Sport should pay for a medical officer at every major sporting event is interesting. I wonder to what level we should have that in football. 

Every Premier League game? Every Championship? Lower? Let's see what happens next. 

As always, as much as I'd like changes to happen now, I expect this to be a slow process because football works at its own snail's pace.

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