Concussion in football: Sports Minister calls on the game to fund more research into brain injuries

Evening Standard

May 25, 2021

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has called on football to do more to fund research into brain injury in the sport.

The MP was speaking at the final part of a lengthy inquiry by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee into concussion in Whitehall on Tuesday.

Asked if he felt football had done enough to fund research into the increasingly prevalent issue, he said: “No, I couldn’t. As to whether they’re putting enough money and research into it, no they’re not.

“I’d like them to put more money into research. There are huge gaps in research in women’s sport and also at the amateur and school level.

“There is absolutely an obligation on sports. It’s not in their best interests if that sport has a reputation for being dangerous.”

Huddleston and the Government are currently in the midst of their own review into brain injuries in sport.

MPs in the DCMS committee had previously heard from a host of sportsmen and women, sporting governing bodies and medical professionals over the issue.

Among those Dr Willie Stewart suggested football’s approach to concussion protocols were a farce.

Reacting to that, Huddleston said: “Accusations of there being a farce… I’m not surprised we’re hearing that.

“So, our role is to make sure we put pressure on sporting governing bodies… to make sure those accusations don’t happen in the future. If we do not believe sufficient action is taken, we are willing to intervene.”

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