On August 27, 2014, a coalition of soccer players and their parents initiated
a class-action lawsuit against FIFA (the Fédération Internationale
de Football Association). In the complaint, the plaintiffs charge the
international soccer governing body of neglecting players in the monitoring
and treatment of head injuries sustained during games.
Rather than pursuing financial compensation, the lawsuit seeks to change
specific rules within the sport, including how many times players may
“head the ball” during a match and how teams manage substitute
players for individuals under examinations for head injuries.
The filing against FIFA notes high school soccer players suffer a disproportionate
number of concussions compared to wrestling, softball, basketball, and
baseball combined, representing nearly 50,000 injuries in 2010. Highly
publicized head injuries during the World Cup event shed even greater
light on the need for changes in rules and regulations within the sport.
The suit represents the most recent in a spate of concussion related cases,
which have affected the NCAA, NHL, and NFL.
Steps to Take after Sustaining a Sports Related Concussion
Regardless of the rules, players of any sport should have the right to
take proper measures after a head injury to get the treatment they need.
When colliding with a ball, player, or other structure during play, take
the following actions to protect yourself physically and legally:
Get immediate medical treatment. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of a concussion, cease
playing immediately and seek out the services of a physician.
Make a record. Retain any evidence that may have contributed to the injury, or ask a
parent or other trusted individual to do this for you.
Watch for lasting effects. If a head injury continues to cause problems long after it happens, keep
track of these issues and consider contacting a personal injury attorney.
Playing soccer – or any other sport – is an enjoyable and rewarding
activity, but improper rules and management can be harmful to players.
If you have been affected by a sports related concussion and believe your
governing organization may be to blame, contact a D.C. personal injury
Concussion lawsuits have been on the rise recently. Check out this article
from 5 years ago, when our legal team reported on the dangers of early
return to playing football: Sports Concussion Injuries Linked to Early Return