Safety first, says Oliver

SAFETY in sport is paramount and any footballer with concussion symptoms should sit out immediately, the JFA development manager has said.

JFA development manager Brian Oliver said safety is a priority and anyone with concussion symptoms should be removed from play immediately.
JFA development manager Brian Oliver said safety is a priority and anyone with concussion symptoms should be removed from play immediately.

Brian Oliver said safety should always be a priority, from grass-roots-level football all the way up to the top-tier standard of players.

Oliver was commenting after a weekend Premier League game in which Wolves striker Raul Jiménez collided with Arsenal defender David Luiz.

Jiménez was forced off injured and it was later revealed that he had suffered a fractured skill. Luiz, however, was bandaged up and continued playing, which has caused debate among the footballing world as to whether he should have been allowed to carry on.

From a local perspective, Oliver has encouraged any coaches or players to take a ‘common sense’ approach when dealing with any signs of concussion.

‘You should be able to tell how serious the situation is and if there is any nasty clash of heads, then both players should be removed from the game and further precautions can be taken if necessary. This includes stopping play to ensure the safety of the players,’ he said.

Symptoms of concussion include headache, dizziness, memory disturbance and balance problems.

Oliver added: ‘We do not have concussion specialists and medical professionals at local games but we do have a brilliant emergency service who you should be on the phone to right away if an incident occurs.’

Every club and coach in the Island will have had first-aid training and learned about how to respond to potential concussions.

The FA concussion guidelines state that anyone who may have suffered a head injury should be removed from play immediately and should not return to practise for at least 14 days.

Oliver said it was key that more awareness was raised on the topic.

‘It has become a more prevalent part of the game in recent years and it has been taken a lot more seriously by the governing bodies of our sport. The more people are educated on it the better.’

He added: ‘The FA have brilliant online learning resources and all it takes is a few minutes to read up and educate yourself on the topic.’

The FA’s concussion guidelines can be accessed via the FA boot room website.

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