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Premier League clubs agree to concussion substitutes trial

PREMIER League clubs have agreed to trial permanent concussion substitutes in response to mounting concern over head injuries.

The league announced today that clubs will adopt an initiative announced by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in December, under which teams will be allowed to make up to two additional substitutions for players with suspected or confirmed concussion.

A Premier League statement said: “Premier League shareholders today formally agreed to introduce the IFAB’s additional permanent concussion substitutions trial.

“The trial will be confirmed when the implementation of the reporting processes, including private medical information, has been resolved with IFAB and Fifa.

“With player welfare the Premier League’s priority, the protocols will allow a maximum of two concussion substitutes to be used per team, with the opposition side able to use the equivalent number.

“The additional concussion substitutions may be made regardless of the number of substitutions a team has already made.

“The trial is a result of the IFAB’s consultation with stakeholders and recommendations from their concussion expert group to allow additional substitutions for players with actual or suspected concussion.”

The move comes with Wolves striker Raul Jimenez still working his way back from the fractured skull he suffered in a clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz on November 29.

Luiz initially played on, but had to be replaced at half-time as a result of the collision.

In addition, a series of high-profile former players have been diagnosed with dementia, leading to concerted calls for greater consideration of the impact of head trauma in the game.

Meanwhile, the Premier League has also announced that all games from January 30 until the end of February will be screened live in Britain.

Matches will continue to be shown via existing broadcast partners Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and BBC, with fans unable to attend stadiums due to the current lockdown.

A Premier League statement read: “The Premier League and its clubs are committed to an accessible solution for fans.

“These plans have been made with the co-operation of our broadcast partners, working with us to deliver these additional matches while stadiums are missing the supporters who are such an integral part of the game.”

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