“Concussion-spotters” will be introduced at next year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar to help make football’s treatment of head injuries an “awful lot safer”.
Spotters will be positioned in the stands at games and tasked with identifying possible brain injuries which may have been missed by medical staff on the touchline.
Team doctors will also be able to watch video replays at all FIFA tournaments to look for signs of concussion, according to the governing body’s medical director Andrew Massey.
“Often in football matches you miss these, even if you’re sitting on the front row,” Massey said in an interview on FIFA’s YouTube channel.
“You have people walking in front of you, you have the manager, you have the referee’s assistant, you have people warming up. So, it’s easy to miss.
“All FIFA competitions will have video replays. All FIFA competitions will have ‘concussion-spotters’ in the stands, who can go through all these things and relay information to the team benches if it is needed.
“It will just make things an awful lot safer.”
The use of “concussion-spotters” in Qatar will be a first at a major international football tournament.
They are already in use in the NFL and rugby union and were previously trialled during FIFA’s Club World Cup.
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