You can now add FIFA to the list of sports institutions being sued over concussions. This latest litigation is brought forth by a group of soccer parents and players, who are filing a class-action lawsuit to change how soccer's governing body handles concussions.
The plaintiffs seek no financial damages, but rather changes to the sport's rules, from limits on headers for children to altering FIFA's substitution protocols.
The suit seeks an injunction that would change the way soccer is played at all levels. Children under 17 would be limited in how many times they are allowed to head the ball. The suit also seeks to require professional and other advanced leagues — which are currently limited to three substitutions per game — to allow temporary substitutions while a player is examined for a head injury. Medical testing would also be available for soccer players who competed as long ago as 2002 and are now suffering from the effects of concussions.
Although FIFA's headquarters are in Switzerland, the suit will be filed in America due to FIFA's association with American leagues, and because FIFA's "Laws of the Game" are used by almost all soccer organizations.
Soccer's concussion issue was especially apparent during this summer's World Cup, when it appeared multiple players stayed on the field after sustaining serious head injuries. In the World Cup final, Germany's Christoph Kramer took a vicious shot to the head and stayed on the field for another 15 minutes, appearing dazed for much of them, before being taken out. FIFA has 60 days to respond to the suit.