Dementia in football: PFA Scotland may urge heading reduction in training

Players’ union PFA Scotland could follow its English counterpart in calling for a reduction in headers in the professional game.

The PFA wants English governing bodies to curb heading in training due to links between football and dementia.

A study last year found ex-professional players are three-and-a-half times more likely to die of degenerative brain disease than the general population.

PFA Scotland says it will discuss the matter at a meeting next month.

Children under the age of 12 are already banned from heading the ball in training.

Fraser Wishart, chief executive of PFA Scotland, said: “The link between heading and dementia has been a live issue for a number of years which we, along with unions across the globe, have been working on with Fifpro, the world players’ union, as this is a global issue.

“Off the back of these numerous discussions and his own extensive research, their chief medical officer Vincent Gouttebarge has been lobbying Ifab [football’s lawmakers] regarding proposed changes including concussion protocol substitutions.

“This is something we have discussed with football’s medical community and our management committee. We will revisit at our meeting next month as a matter of urgency.”

BBC News