English soccer tightens concussion guidelines

FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 file photo, West Ham United's Ravel Morrison, left, controls the ball past Fulham's Scott Parker, during their English Premier League soccer match in London. Police say West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison has been charged with assaulting two women. Morrison has been charged with common assault for allegedly attacking a woman outside a bar in Manchester and assaulting the same 19-year-old and a 39-year-old woman later, early on Sunday, July 27, 2014. The 21-year-old former Manchester United player is due to appear in court in Manchester later Thursday. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

LONDON (AP) — Club doctors will have the final say on whether a player stays on the field after a head injury during English Premier League matches as part of new guidelines on concussions.

Regulations for concussion management have been tightened by the English Football Association, with players next season forced off the field and not allowed to return if there’s been a “confirmed or suspected period of loss of consciousness.”

Last season, Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was allowed to return by coach Andre Villas-Boas during a Premier League match against Everton after appearing to lose consciousness when kneed in the head.

Previously, the team doctor’s decision wasn’t final regarding whether a player with a head injury was ready to return to play or practice.

Also, all players must have preseason baseline cognitive testing every year.


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