Parents File Lawsuit Against FIFA, Seek Rule Changes to Protect Soccer Players from Head Injuries

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A lawsuit filed in San Francisco would require soccer organizations to do a better job protecting its players. Ian Cull reports. (Published Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014)

    A lawsuit filed in San Francisco would require soccer organizations to do a better job protecting its players.

    The class-action lawsuit against the sport's governing body, FIFA, was filed by a group of parents concerned about their children's safety. It claims FIFA has been negligent in monitoring head injuries in soccer players.

    The suit asks for rule changes at all levels, including limiting the amount of headers for kids under 17.

    "It's important that both the players, coaches, parents are all educated in regard to concussions," said David Eberle, a coach with Almaden FC.

    Eberle said all of the club's players are taught proper heading technique.

    The suit also asks for advanced leagues that only allow three substitutions per game to allow a temporary fourth substitute if a player needs to be examined for a head injury.

    "I don't see that harming the game," Eberle said. "I only think it would benefit."

    Parent Cheryl Vinje is in favor of the lawsuit.

    "I'm a nurse so I know the damage it could do if you continue playing or don't take care of yourself if you re-injure it," she said. "So I'm all for it."

    Another parent, Ray Baskett, whose son is a goalie, said he sometimes worries about the dangers of the position.

    "If he did get more than one head injury -- to have some rules in play of subbing him out or maybe requiring head gear for goalies," Baskett said.