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Domestic leagues to trial the use of concussion substitutes


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A trial of the use of concussion substitutes in the League of Ireland has been approved. 

The FAI had their request approved by football's lawmakers, the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

The trial will begin with the President's Cup meeting of league winners Shamrock Rovers and FAI Cup-winners Dundalk at Tallaght Stadium on March 12.

Concussion substitutes will also be in use in the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League, and both the men's and women's senior cup competitions.

An allowance of two extra substitutions will be made available to teams who believe a player has suffered a suspected concussion.

England's Premier League also began a similar trial earlier this month.

FAI Medical Director Alan Byrne welcomed the introduction of concussion substitutes, saying, "“FIFA and UEFA have been involved for many years in research around concussion and this is a development which I very much welcome.

"I don’t think we can ever be done with educating and making people more aware of this topic.

“The season long trial is part of the knowledge gathering around the whole area of concussion.

"We hope to gain some knowledge around the types of injuries that can cause concussion, help build our knowledge base and put us in a better position to make decisions around the welfare and safety of our players.”

League of Ireland Director Mark Scanlon added, "We have worked on this plan with our Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne since IFAB first approved such trials in December and we have opted for Protocol B with the approval and full support of the Board of the FAI, the National League Executive Committee, Women’s National League Committee and our clubs.

"We have also worked closely with the referees via our Referee’s Department and they have given the implementation of these Protocol B concussion substitute rules their full backing.

“This approach prevents a player sustaining another concussion during the match as multiple head-injury incidents can have very serious consequences.

"It also sends a strong message that, if in doubt, the player is withdrawn but there is no numerical or tactical disadvantage to either side by prioritising the player’s welfare.

"The rule reduces the pressure on medical personnel to make a quick assessment and is simple to operate.”

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Concussion FAI FAI Cup Head Injuries IFAB League Of Ireland President's Cup SSE Airtrcity Premier Division SSE Airtricity Women's National League Women's National League

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