Premier League to introduce permanent concussion substitutes from February 6

Premier League to trial concussion substitutes alongside Women’s Super League, Women’s Championship and FA Cup; teams given two concussion replacements, in addition to their three regular subs, in each game; rule change is part of IFAB trial

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The Premier League and the Women's Super League will introduce concussion substitutes from February 6, James Cole explains

The Premier League will introduce permanent concussion substitutes from February 6.

Teams participating in the Premier League, FA Cup, Women's Super League and Women's Championship will be able to permanently substitute players who are diagnosed with, or suspected of sustaining, a concussion during a match.

Both sides in each game will have two such replacements available, as well as their three regular substitutions.

The lunchtime game between Aston Villa and Arsenal on February 6 will be the first Premier League fixture under the new regulations.

The new protocol will first come into force in the FA Cup from next month's fifth round and will be used in the Women's Super League and Championship from February 6.

"The trial is a result of the IFAB's consultation with stakeholders and recommendations from their concussion expert group to allow additional substitutions for players with actual or suspected concussion," a joint statement from the FA and Premier League read.

The International Football Association Board( IFAB), which governs the laws of the game, gave competitions the opportunity to introduce permanent concussion substitutes after approving them on a trial basis in December.

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The decision came at the end of a year in which the deaths of England's 1966 World Cup winners Jack Charlton and Nobby Stiles following dementia diagnoses - as well as the diagnosis of Sir Bobby Charlton - shone a light on the impact of head injuries sustained in football.

Vertonghen on 'nine months' of concussion symptoms

Former Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen revealed last December he played through concussion symptoms for nine months as he fought to earn a fresh contract.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (centre) assists Jan Vertonghen after an injury during the Champions League, Semi Final, First Leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 30, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Tottenham. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
Image: Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (centre) assists Jan Vertonghen after an injury during the Champions League semi-final against Ajax

Vertonghen was injured in Spurs' Champions League semi-final first leg against Ajax in 2019 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after clashing heads with team-mate Toby Alderweireld.

The defender was allowed back into the game after prolonged checks by the Spurs medical team on the sideline, but as he realised his symptoms were too severe to continue, Vertonghen quickly signalled to the bench to be taken off.

"Many people don't know this, but [the head injury against Ajax] affected me for a really long time. I had dizziness and headaches," he told Belgian outlet Sporza. "The other day, there was the story about David Luiz and (Raul) Jimenez, in which Jimenez suffered a fractured skull.

"With me, it was my nose and I continued to play, which I shouldn't have done, according to the doctors. In the end, I think I suffered from that head injury for about eight or nine months. That was the reason why I didn't play well.

"I had a year left on my contract and I thought I had to play because I had to showcase myself to other clubs and to Tottenham, but when I played, I was rubbish. I just couldn't produce a good performance. Not many people knew that.

"That was my own choice and not a criticism of anyone else. After five months, there was a day when I started to feel better. When I see the footage from that time, I know when I didn't feel well by looking at myself."

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