Accrington manager John Coleman revealed that heading could be outlawed in 10 years’ time to reduce the risk of dementia among football players. He said that although it might be a drastic decision it could progress from children’s football into the professional game. Coleman commented after a study showed that footballers are at a greater risk of dementia depending on their position and career length.
“Going forward, I wouldn’t be surprised if, in 10 years’ time, heading will be outlawed. I think it’ll start with the kids’ football and develop into men’s football.” John Coleman said about heading being outlawed from the game. “People think that’s maybe a drastic solution but we’ve seen other changes in football that people didn’t think we’d get round, and we have, so who knows? A lot of the game in the Premier League is played on the floor – they very rarely cross the ball anymore, it’s played through the lines and going round the side of teams.”
The study was conducted with about 8000 former footballers in Scotland. The results showed that goalkeepers were the least affected with the chances similar to that of the general population. Outfield players were for times more likely compared to the general public with defenders being five times more likely. The research was conducted by researchers at the University of Glasgow and was led by professor Willie Stewart at the university, and is published in the journal JAMA Neurology.