UEFA Prohibits Substitutions in Cases of Head Injury
In a recently published article entitled “UEFA confirms it does not allow concussion subs after confusion over Beth Mead head injury,” BBC Sport shares news that the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) is not allowing substitutes in the case of head injury or concussion, in response to the Women’s Champion League game on September 28, 2022, where Arsenal player, Beth Mead was removed from the field after “clashing heads” with Ajax player, Lisa Doorn. Arsenal head coach, Jonas Eidvall stated that he was told that substitutions were allowed before being informed that the change was not permitted and forcing Arsenal to finish the match with one less player. UEFA rules state teams can make a maximum of five substitutions within three stoppages but no concussion substitutions. Criticizing the UEFA for their treatment of the situation, Luke Griggs, the Interim Chief Executive of Headway, a UK-based brain injury charity, argues that the UEFA is penalizing teams that are putting their player’s wellbeing first by not allowing concussion substitutes. “Through these on-pitch decisions, UEFA is undermining their own concussion awareness and player welfare campaign,” states Griggs, shedding light on the association’s policies that are ultimately detrimental to athlete safety and performance. UEFA teams are not participating in an ongoing trial of concussion substitutions by the International Football Association Board.