Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

21.16 28 Jul 2021


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Brain charities have welcomed new guidance regarding heading the ball in training. 

Footballers in England will be limited to just 10 headers a week in an effort to protect them from potential brain damage.

The guidelines will come into force for the upcoming season.

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The FA say, "The guidance will be applicable to clubs in the Premier League, EFL, Barclays Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, the National League System, the Women’s Football Pyramid Tiers 3 and below, all grassroots football, and across the England national teams."

The move comes after multiple studies were conducted into the neurological damage caused by heading the ball.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said, "We already have the most comprehensive guidelines in the world for youth football and now we are introducing, in partnership with the other football bodies, the most comprehensive adult football guidelines anywhere.

"Our heading guidance now reaches across all players, at all levels of the game.

“These measures have been developed following studies with coaches and medics and represent a cautious approach whilst we learn more. We are committed to further medical research to gain an understanding of any risks within football, in the meantime this reduces a potential risk factor.

“Overall, it's important to remember that the overwhelming medical evidence is that football and other sports have positive impacts on both mental and physical health.”

The move has been welcomed by the Jeff Astle Foundation.

Former West Brom and England striker Astle died with a brain injury linked to heading heavy footballs.

1966 World Cup winners Jack Charlton and Nobby Stiles suffered with dementia in their final years, while last year it was confirmed Bobby Charlton was also suffering from dementia.

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