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FA announce heading ban in training for U-12 age groups in headline rule change

Newcastle United v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Newcastle United v Liverpool FC - Premier League
ANALYST
Modified 24 Feb 2020
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The Football Association have announced that heading bans will now be imposed for the U-12 age groups, as they aim to protect up and coming footballers from perennial brain damage. While the rules cannot be changed in a competitive game of football, the FA have confirmed in an official statement of the major rule change in training, which comes as a statement from the governing body.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham shed light on the recent developments, adding that the rule change has been on the cards for a while now for the betterment of the game.

"Our research has shown that heading is rare in youth football matches, so this guidance is a responsible development to our grassroots coaching without impacting the enjoyment children of all ages take from the game."

Over the years, research findings have revealed that footballers could potentially suffer permanent brain damage due to excessive heading across their careers, as the repeated head trauma was found to have long-standing effects in a person's life.

Speaking to BBC Sport in 2018, Dr Bennet Omalu, one of the world's leading experts on brain injuries, claimed that he doesn't understand how people are so ill-informed about the possibility of permanent brain damage.

"It does not make sense to control an object travelling at a high velocity with your head. I believe, eventually, at the professional level we need to restrict heading of the ball. It is dangerous."

Although there were claims that heading the ball could be banned for professional footballers under the age of 18 in 2018, the FA have finally made a decision for the betterment of the game and all the details about the new developments are expected to be announced in the coming days.

Published 24 Feb 2020, 17:23 IST
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