FIFA World Cup: Concussion Spotters Set to be Introduced in Qatar 2022

2021-05-15 Football

The recent studies on football impact on possible brain injury after Raul Jimenez's horrible head concussion last year which led to his lengthy absence of the Mexican international in Premier League plus the probable similar case on the departure of several world cup 1966 winners in late 2020 apparently has struck FIFA to come up with something new for the sake of players' health and welfare. This month, the world football governing body has reportedly approved the inclusion of concussion spotters in the upcoming world cup 2022. It is one of the modern breakthrough in football regulation.


Concussion spotters are the new medical football officials to be positioned in the stand to make quick and effective decision on any potential serious head injuries on the pitch. Their work will be closely-related with the team doctors and would sign 'red flags' and inform the medical staff on the bench regarding the necessity for further treatment towards the players who suffer such fatal injury. It means they could be subtituted on such reason. The rule on concussion substitution along with additional concusion spotters has been introduced earlier this year and imposed on trial in FIFA Club World Cup in last February. Such replacement can be done at any time even if the team has made five substitution in each game.


According to Andrew Massey, the current FIFA director of medicine and former Liverpool team doctor, the spotters will be helpful in making such crucial decision during the game which can be intriguing and full of hustle.


"Often, managers, assistant referees and players are in front of you, so it is easy to miss injuries. All Fifa competitions will have video replays. All Fifa competitions will have concussion spotters in the stand who can go through all these things and relay information to the team benches if it is needed.", Massey stated.


The use of concussion spotters in football actually is not the first time in sports. American Football and Rugby has already been in favor of this additional officials. The former was the first sport to introduce them back in 2012. In NFL, they are called 'ATC (Athletic Trainer in Concussion) spotters' and put in the stands in each game. Meanwhile, in rugby, Premiership Rugby has employed Hawk-eye-assisted spotters since 2018.