Concussion: Fifa doctor pushes for Premier League time-outs

Thibaut Courtois is replaced by Petr Cech
Petr Cech, who replaced Thibaut Courtois against Chelsea, fractured his skull playing against Reading in 2006

English football should introduce a medical examination of up to three minutes for players with suspected concussion, says the head of Fifa's medical committee, Dr Michel D'Hooghe.

The Premier League and the Football Association brought in new rules on suspected concussions this season.

Players must leave the pitch and the final decision on whether they continue rests solely with the team doctor.

A mandatory three-minute examination was adopted by Uefa this month.

The rule has already been introduced in all Champions League and Europa League matches after it was proposed by D'Hooghe at the start of September.

D'Hooghe is now also urging all national associations to insist on the game being stopped for up to three minutes.

"We have no authority in competitions on a national level. The same for Uefa. They can judge for the Champions League and Europa League and for the Euro 2016 and 2020 finals and qualification," he said.

"I would be very grateful if this would go down to all the 209 national associations of Fifa."

New Premier League measures this season
A player suffering a head injury must leave the pitch.
Team managers or coaching staff will no longer decide whether a player continues to play. The final decision will be with the club doctor.
Home teams in the Premier League must now have a third "tunnel" doctor on match-days to support doctors for both sides.
The "tunnel" doctor will help to spot potential concussions and watch TV replays to judge the severity of incidents.
All Premier League players will have baseline neurological assessments as part of their annual medical check-up to help doctors measure their recovery time if they suffer a concussion.

The brain-injury charity Headway criticised Premier League protocol after Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois played on following a clash with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez last Sunday.

The Belgian goalkeeper continued for 14 minutes after colliding with Sanchez before being substituted and going to hospital for checks.

The 22-year-old appeared to be bleeding from the ear, but Chelsea say the blood was from a minor cut rather than anything more serious.

Hugo Lloris
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris suffered a head injury against Everton last season but carried on

D'Hooghe defended the way the Chelsea medical team dealt with the incident.

"I think sincerely the team doctor did a correct examination," he said.

"She came to the correct conclusion that he could go on. But she kept an eye on him and the moment he didn't feel well - and that can happen with concussions, that the symptoms can increase after some minutes - they took the right decision and took him off.

"It would be good if someone else looks at the television images of how precisely an accident occurred because I can imagine that the team doctor sitting on his bench has not always a perfect view of what exactly happened."

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