DFL takes action against head injuries - sports
- The German Football League has decided to next season a package of measures against head injuries in professional football.
- Players will have to be tested before the season and after clashes in the game.
- A player should be able to play again only if the test results do not speak against it.
The pros of the 36 first and second division clubs will have to undergo an annual test to diagnose possible brain damage. The German Football League (DFL) officially announced this on Wednesday. At the weekend, there had already been a media report on a corresponding newsletter of the DFL together with the German Football Association (DFB) to the clubs.
In the mandatory review in the run-up to the season should now be defined for each player's "normal state", it says in the message. Basis are so-called SCAT-5 tests (SCAT = Sport Concussion Assessment Tool). These tests examine the various parts of brain function, including features such as balance and memory. This helps the team doctors in acute head injuries with the help of the so-called "baseline screening" by measuring the deviations to arrive at a more accurate diagnosis.
An athlete should not be used again until his test results are back to baseline. The referees were informed that the match for such a treatment can be interrupted for up to three minutes. "DFL and clubs are aware of their duty to care for the health of players," said Andreas Nagel, DFL director of sports and junior football.
The DFL follows with the decision of a recommendation of the medical commission of the DFB, whose chairman is national team physician Tim Meyer. "We have not seen an extreme accumulation of head injuries in recent years, but there has been a slight upward trend over the years, which is probably due to the increase in game dynamics, so the introduction of baseline screening is not a response to an obvious acute malady, but an important step to further professionalize the handling of head injuries in football, "said Meyer the sports information service.
Sports doctors have denounced for years that the risk of long-term damage caused by air strikes head injuries is underestimated. Even with too many head balls it could come to the regression of brain cells.
According to a British study from 2017, professional footballers, like boxers or football players, are more susceptible to brain damage.