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new rules League of Ireland to trial concussion substitutes in 2021 season

An appeal by the FAI to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to allow for concussion subs has been granted.

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League of Ireland clubs will trial concussion substitutes for the 2021 season

League of Ireland clubs will trial concussion substitutes for the 2021 season

League of Ireland clubs will trial concussion substitutes for the 2021 season

Concussion substitutes will be allowed in the League of Ireland next season, on a one-year trial basis, with the promise that a team will not suffer a numerical disadvantage for having a player assessed for a head injury.

An appeal by the FAI to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to allow for concussion subs has been granted and, starting with the President's Cup next month, the rules will be changed, where a player can be withdrawn if there is a suspicion of a head injury, with up to two substitutions allowed, per team per game.

The FAI's Medical Director, Dr Alan Byrne, says the rule change will "put us in a better position to make decisions around the welfare and safety of our players".

"The FAI is delighted that the Protocol B Concussion Substitute guidelines will be utilised in the new League of Ireland season, beginning with the President’s Cup on March 12," FAI league director Mark Scanlon said.

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"It also sends a strong message that, if in doubt, the player is withdrawn but there is no numerical or tactical disadvantage to either side by prioritising the player’s welfare.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