Temporary substitutions for concussion likely to be introduced in Euro 2020

Tottenham's Serge Aurier is checked for signs of concussion by medical staff

Temporary substitutions for footballers suspected of being concussed are likely to become compulsory for next summer's Euro 2020, Sky Sports News understands.

Rugby already uses a system whereby team doctors make an initial assessment of a player on the pitch, and then withdraw them for further assessment, if the player shows any signs of possible concussion.

While the injured player is off the pitch, rugby teams are allowed to make a temporary substitution, which can then be reversed if the substituted player is deemed fit to return.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB), football's lawmakers, are now considering a similar system for football, which would be introduced for the first time at Euro 2020.

The international players' union FiFPRO is thought to be supportive of the idea and so is UEFA, which released a statement in October calling on temporary substitutions to be introduced.

Theo Walcott
Image: Theo Walcott was taken to hospital for a precautionary assessment for concussion during a game against Manchester City in September

The IFAB then set up an expert group to investigate the viability of this, but any changes to the rules have to be proposed and ratified by the law-making body.

"The panels agreed that any solutions would have to take account of both player welfare and the need to ensure sporting fairness," the IFAB said in a statement.

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Sky Sports News has been told the issue will be discussed at the IFAB Annual Business Meeting in Belfast on Tuesday, and then put through to a vote at the AGM on February 29th in Belfast.

If sanctioned, the law changes will come into effect on June 1, 2020 - and the Euro 2020 finals would be the first time that competitive football would be played under the new rules, before they are then introduced in the Premier League, EFL and Scottish Premiership.

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