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Temporary substitutions set to be introduced for concussion

Liverpool Echo logo Liverpool Echo 01/12/2019 James Findlater
Temporary substitutions for concussion look set to be introduced for Euro 2020. © Bongarts/Getty Images Temporary substitutions for concussion look set to be introduced for Euro 2020.

Temporary substitutions for players suspected to be suffering from concussion are likely to come into force for Euro 2020, according to reports.

Sky Sports News have reported that a system similar to the one already in use in rugby will be introduced at next year’s tournament before being implemented on a wider scale.

The system in rugby sees team doctors make an initial assessment of a player on the pitch before withdrawing them temporarily to see if they show any signs of concussion.

While the player is off the pitch, teams are allowed to make a temporary substitution, which can then be reversed if the player is deemed fit to continue, or made permanent should they be unable to return.

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The Interntaional Football Association Board (IFAB) are understood to be considering a similar system for football, which is likely to be introduced at Euro 2020.

The system could well have benefitted both Liverpool and Everton over the past year or so – especially on the biggest of stages for the Reds.

Loris Karius was reported to have sustained a concussion during the 2018 Champions League final against Real Madrid, which Jurgen Klopp’s side lost 3-1.

The German goalkeeper played on despite colliding with Madrid’s Sergio Ramos in Kiev, and was at fault for two of the Spanish side’s goals that night.

Everton, too, have had to deal with concussion recently, with Theo Walcott stretchered off during the early stages of their 3-1 defeat to Manchester City back in September.

The international players’ union FiFPRO and UEFA are understood to be supportive of the IFAB’s ideas, having called for temporary substitutions to be introduced back in October.

Any changes would have to be proposed and ratified by the IFAB before being implemented, with the law-making body stating: "The panels agreed that any solutions would have to take account of both player welfare and the need to ensure sporting fairness."

The issue looks set to be discussed at the IFAB Annual Business Meeting in Belfast on Tuesday before being put through to a vote at the AGM on February 29.

Should the system be sanctioned, it would come into effect on June 1, 2020, and would then be introduced in the Premier League, EFL and Scottish Premiership.

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