Referee Mike Dean at Old Trafford.

Concussion substitutes: IFAB approves trials

Wednesday 16 December 2020 17:22

Football leagues around the world can apply to run a concussion substitutes trial from January 2021, the International Football Association Board has said.

Within the trial, permanent replacements will be permitted for players who suffer head injuries, even if a team has already used up its allotted number of substitutions.

According to IFAB, who are responsible for determining the laws of the game, the change will prevent players suffering further, potentially serious, concussions and sends a strong message about prioritising player welfare.

IFAB also note that the introduction of concussion substitutes will also reduce pressure on medical personnel.

Telles sends message to Jimenez


Alex still has the scars from a head injury he sustained and has offered words of solidarity to the Wolves striker.

Within the trial, to avoid potential abuse of the rule, the opposition team will also be able to make a change at the same time.

The FA has previously indicated its support for the rule change and said it would implement the trials "at the earliest practical opportunity" in its competitions, which include the FA Cup, Women’s FA Cup and Women’s Super League.

The issue was recently debated in the media, after Wolverhampton Wanderers player Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull in a clash of heads with Arsenal's David Luiz - which our own Alex Telles discusses last week.

At Wednesday's meeting, IFAB also agreed to extend the five substitutions rule, which has been implemented in European competitions in order to help with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Domestic competitions ending by 31 December 2021 and international competitions ending by 31 July 2022 will now have the option to utilise the rule.