SOCHI, Russia (AP) World Cup teams have been told video replays will be extended to their doctors to assist the diagnosis of concussions.
FIFA’s top medical official told The Associated Press that a second team doctor will be allowed access to match footage to evaluate injuries in real time to supplement any on-field diagnosis.
It is the latest sign of FIFA embracing technology, with video assistant replays set to make their World Cup debut at the June 15-July 14 tournament in Russia.
FIFA is strengthening procedures to treat head injuries following cases at the 2014 World Cup where players tried to stay on the field after a concussion.
Doctors from the 32 finalists in Russia were briefed on the changes at meetings in the Black Sea resort of Sochi by FIFA medical committee chairman Michel D’Hooghe
“To help the doctor we have now introduced a system whereby an assistant of the doctor or a second doctor will sit in front of a television screen and can help the doctor in taking his decision,” D’Hooghe told the AP, “because he can review very clearly, very concretely what happened on the field, what the doctor sitting on the bench perhaps could not see.
“This is a supplementary help for the doctor to make his diagnosis and to say if (the player) can go on. This is the first time that we will try it. I am confident that it will certainly be a help for the medical care of our players.”
This will be the first World Cup where games can be stopped for three minutes to fully assess head injuries.
“In Brazil we had problems in cases of concussion where at a certain moment the doctor asks for the replacement of a player and on the contrary the player reacts and says, `No I want to go on,”‘ D’Hooghe said. “So that was a little bit of a chaotic situation. Now we have a new rule, the three-minute rule.”
That gives more authority to the doctor.
“After these three minutes the referee only look at the doctor, he doesn’t look at the player who could have been unconscious,” D’Hooghe said. “In the case of a serious health problem it’s logical the doctor decides.”