Concussions, brain injuries a concern on sports fields, work places

As the world has been celebrating the sport of soccer over the last month with the World Cup tournament, there is a potential black cloud hanging over the soccer world – players playing with concussions and possible brain injuries

In a July 11 article in the London Times, FIFA was accused last week of turning a blind eye to the “ticking time bomb” of concussion by FIFPro, the global footballers’ union, which reiterated its demand for the introduction of independent sideline assessments.

The article cited several incidences, including one during Argentina’s semi-final victory against Holland where Javier Mascherano clashed heads with Georginio Wijnaldum in the 27th minute. The Barcelona midfielder displayed every visible sign of concussion, according to FIFA’s own guidelines, which demand an immediate withdrawal of any player suspected of being concussed, but, shamefully, the Argentinean was allowed to continue.

The London Times article continued . . . with mounting evidence of a link between repeated concussions and the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as the potentially fatal risk of second impact syndrome, FIFPro says the world governing body needs to act before a tragedy occurs. “They have something on paper that’s very pretty but it’s not enforced because it is only a guideline that is being enforced by team physicians,” Andrew Orsatti, a FIFPro spokesman, told The Times. “It is instructive in other sports that there has to be a clear separation to remove any potential vested interests where a team physician could be pressured by the clock or the manager to return a player too quickly. “You cannot ignore the fact that we are playing with lives based on the new evidence that has come to light. It is a ticking time bomb. . . “

The way concussions are handled is also an issue in the United States. The article states that Major League Soccer players have begun filing lawsuits against clubs for being kept on the pitch after suffering a concussion. Eddie Johnson is suing the Portland Timbers after retiring in April, while Taylor Twellman, the league’s MVP in 2005, had to spend the best part of two years in a darkened room because of the damage caused by repeated concussions. “This is a window to the future,” Orsatti said in the Times article. “The facts are irrefutable. It is a tidal wave that will engulf the sport.”

Sanders.Law believe that the team’s success should not be put ahead of the players’ health. This is also true in the work place where a company’s profits should not be put ahead of the workers’ health. If you have any questions regarding brain injuries or other issues such as workman’s compensation, please contact our office at (816) 844-6938.

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