Premier League are planning to introduce new concussion substitutes from next season. This move comes after recent concerns involving players’ safety. Premier League are planning to run a trial to select the most suitable system. It is believed that two system options are available, of which one is going to be selected.
The first system which the Premier League are pondering upon involves a player suffering with concussion symptoms to be taken off immediately and not be allowed to return for the match later. Their replacements would not be included in the three substitutions that are permitted in a match. The second system resembles the system used in Rugby Union. The system would involve the affected player taken to the dressing room for a 10-15 minute examination where they would undergo a head test. Another player would replace the affected player for the duration of the assessment. However, the affected player will be allowed to return to play if they are deemed medically fit to continue.
According to early reports in the media, UEFA are also open to the idea of introducing temporary substitutes in cases involving concussion. This idea could be first implemented in the EURO 2020 Finals, which is to be hosted across major European cities. An expert group was set up in October 2019 by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), football's law-making body. The main objective of the expert group was to decide on the idea of introducing concussion substitutes in football. This proposal has sprung up after extensive research. Recent research suggests that former football players suffer disproportionately from brain disease. A similar rule is already in practice in rugby games.
At present, match officials are supposed to stop the game in case of any incident involving concussion. They must allow a thorough examination of the injured player who can only return to the game with permission from the team doctor. However, FIFPro wants players to be looked at by a neutral doctor and not by the team doctors. They also demanded that temporary substitutions should be allowed for up to 10 minutes while the examination takes place.