Sound Of Football Podcast 374 - Losing our heads


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When Jan Vertonghen stumbled off the pitch in last week's Champions League semi-final it was easy for those watching to imagine that there had been a serious failure in the necessary concussion protocols. In fact there hadn't: the ill-effects the Spurs player suffered weren't related to concussion. The heat under the discussion surrounding head injuries was further stoked when Mo Salah was carried off in Liverpool's weekend Premier League fixture having been knocked out in another aerial challenge. What can football do to protect players at all levels from incidents like these but still remain the game that we all enjoy?

Temporary substitutions have been proposed but would such a thing be abused by coaches looking to exploit every opportunity available? Protective headgear is commonplace in other sports where the player's head may be at risk from accidental damage but is hardly ever seen in football - a rare example of a sport that encourages the use of the head as part of game. Will we, in future, see brain-protecting headgear as standard a piece of equipment as shin-pads?

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178 episodes