PFA wants FA to ban head­ing for Un­der-10s

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON:

The Pro­fes­sional Foot­ballers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (PFA) has urged the English Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion to ban chil­dren un­der 10 head­ing balls amid grow­ing fears of brain in­juries.

A new study from the Univer­sity of Stir­ling found head­ing a ball could cause mem­ory prob­lems for 24 hours and ex­perts want to study the im­pli­ca­tions for younger play­ers whose brains are still de­vel­op­ing.

At least 250 former foot­ballers have been di­ag­nosed with se­ri­ous de­gen­er­a­tive brain con­di­tions in re­cent years and PFA chief ex­ec­u­tive Gor­don Tay­lor says foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body should con­sider fol­low­ing the ex­am­ple of the United States, where chil­dren 12 or younger are al­ready banned from head­ing.

“I think that has to be a se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion. It is not a knee-jerk re­ac­tion,”PFA chief ex­ec­u­tive Gor­don Tay­lor told the Daily Tele­graph yes­ter­day. “It would be a con­sid­ered re­ac­tion bear­ing in mind ev­i­dence that has been com­ing through from dif­fer­ent sports and to a lim­ited ex­tent in foot­ball.

“There have been rule changes for young­sters about pitches they play on, about the num­bers in the game, about whether or not girls should be in­volved with boys and up to what age. “It is very much in line with that. We don’t want to put off the next gen­er­a­tion but we need to be very mind­ful. The game needs to have a duty of care to all its par­tic­i­pants.”

Former West Bromwich Albion and Eng­land star Jeff As­tle died in 2002 from a brain trauma caused by head­ing the heavy leather foot­balls used when he played the 1960s and 1970s. — AFP

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