Professional football’s focus on concussion and player welfare is continuing to develop. The latest in a number of initiatives has been announced by the Spanish footballing authorities in collaboration with FIFPRO and European Leagues.
Dr Javier Barrerahe of Real Sociedad has developed a concussion training course for the medical staff of the 42 professional Spanish clubs. The emphasis however is not just on the medical teams. The objective is for the dissemination of the information to players and other club staff. The hope is that everyone can then play a role in detecting and protecting players who may be suffering from concussion promoting FIFPRO’s Recognise, Report, Remove messaging.
This new approach attempts to build collaboration within the ranks of professional clubs. In conjunction with Dr Barrerahe’s work, LaLiga is underlining the important role that players and coaches can have in helping to protect themselves as well as their teammates and opponents.
The key elements set out in Dr Barrerahe’s concussion training are:-
- How to detect a concussion
- Players with a concussion should be removed from the pitch and not allowed to return
- Players should be given sufficient time to recover
Combining these elements gives players a significantly better prognosis as we’ve seen the number of recurring concussions or persistent symptoms is a lot lower under these circumstances. If players are allowed to continue or they return to action too soon then, as Dr Barrerahe explains to his colleagues on the course, evidence suggests the incidences of persistent symptoms or recurring concussions is much higher.