‘Heading the ball’ could be a thing of the past for young footballers

boy heads ballA group of parents are calling for FIFA to limit under 17s from heading the ball in a lawsuit filed against the governing body this year.

The US group of parents argue that FIFA hasn’t done enough to protect young players from the medical risks of repeatedly heading the ball. (Links have been made to concussion and other head trauma, which could cause brain injury).

Dr Michael Grey, a motor neuro-science expert at the University of Birmingham, told the Daily Mail: ‘The impact of the brain against the skull causes damage and children’s neck muscles are not developed enough to handle the shock of impact.’ He is calling for a complete ban on children heading the ball.

Dianne Yates, Partner and Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury said:

“Not only does brain injury affect everything a child thinks, does and feels but they have the added strain of facing emotional and social changes. Areas they’re perhaps not as well equipped as an adult to deal with. For example, if they return to school, teachers and pupils who knew them before the injury have to adjust the way they interact, which can be upsetting and confusing.

“Having worked with adults and children who have suffered head trauma we, as a firm, welcome any efforts to reduce the risk of such serious injury.”

According to the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) children under 4 are at particular risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury. This could be through a sports injury, a fall, car accident, deliberate child abuse or being struck by a moving object.

In a further study by Crowe, children who had moderate to severe brain injuries scored lower on IQ tests by about seven to ten points. Brain injury is also associated with an increased risk of behavioural problems.

Financial compensation is only part of the process of rebuilding lives after brain injury

We see the devastating impact of brain injury every day. The injury is lifelong and for most clients, financial compensation is only part of the process of rebuilding their lives.

Many clients need a total service solution involving care, rehabilitation, vocational training, housing adaption, assistive technology and specialist financial support.

We appreciate every client’s needs are different and pride ourselves on our ability to grasp all the issues. Alongside legal services, we also help with:

  • Immediate financial support
  • Rehabilitation
  • Case management
  • Housing alteration and adaption
  • Long term financial assistance
  • Assistive technology
  • Vehicle modifications and adaption

If you’d like advice, or just more information, please don’t hesitate to contact our specialist team on 0800 988 1548.


(First published Nov 4 2014)