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New heading guidance introduced across English football


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nglish football is introducing new guidance around heading ahead of the upcoming season.

The guidance, which is specifically focused on training sessions where the majority of heading occurs, will apply to both the professional and amateur game, with the FA, Premier League, EFL, PFA and LMA all agreeing on the terms of it.

The impact of heading in football has been researched following calls from former footballers and their families that it could cause dementia.

Multiple studies have been undertaken in recent months on behalf of a subgroup of the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee (PFNCC) and that has shaped this initial guidance, which focuses on reducing headers of a high force.

It will be recommended that a maximum of 10 higher-force headers are carried out in any training week. These are typically headers following a long pass (more than 35 metres) or from crosses, corners and free-kicks.

FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham said: “We already have the most comprehensive guidelines in the world for youth football and now we are introducing, in partnership with the other football bodies, the most comprehensive adult football guidelines anywhere. Our heading guidance now reaches across all players, at all levels of the game.

“These measures have been developed following studies with coaches and medics and represent a cautious approach while we learn more. We are committed to further medical research to gain an understanding of any risks within football, in the meantime this reduces a potential risk factor.

“Overall it is important to remember that the overwhelming medical evidence is that football and other sports have positive impacts on both mental and physical health.”


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