PFA chiefs slammed football’s Lawmakers after they blocked plans to trial temporary concussion substitutes in the Prem.
Prem bosses along with France’s Ligue 1 and the MLS wanted the green light to give doctors a 10-minute assessment window rather than being forced to use permanent substitutes for suspected concussion cases and were backed by players’ unions.
But with a Wembley meeting of the International FA Board finding “no consensus” in favour of the idea – with the discussion taking up the biggest portion of the five-hour session – the trial cannot take place.
PFA head of brain health Dr Adam White said the decision to avoid a “common-sense measure” was “extremely disappointing”.
He added: “There is a fundamental issue if players’ unions and leagues feel Lawmakers are holding them back from doing what they collectively agree is best to protect the safety of players.
The brain injury charity Headway condemned the “flawed logic” of the decision although FA chief executive Mark Bullingham – who urged a take-up of the idea – revealed a study of team doctors found 71 per cent felt permanent substitutes were preferable.
Bullingham said: “The expert group that advised us said permanent concussions were safer.
“We think that in some cases players have continued to play when there’s been more than a suspicion of concussion.
“They should have come off and we feel the risk of false negatives is lower with permanent concussion subs.”
Concussion substitutes have become more commonplace in recent years as football tackles the problem of head injuries.
This allowed players to be permanently subbed off if they suffer head injuries, but it did not affect the allocation of five changes.
The opposing team is granted an additional substitution with each APCS to avoid any advantage.
The Premier League, FA and EFL have since adopted the rule permanently.