U.S. Soccer Moms VS FIFA Over Concussions


U.S. Soccer moms have gained the attention of the world by engaging in a lawsuit against FIFA for allegedly not adopting effective guidelines to prevent the risk of concussions. While the lawsuit has drawn little attention in American, soccer fans around the world have reacted with surprise to FIFA, soccer’s international governing body being taken to court.

Similar suits have already appeared in court, including one against the National Football League, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the National Hockey League. In settlements the NFL settled with players for $675 million, but an earlier NCAA tentative agreement to pay $70 million for diagnosis and testing of student athletes is now being contested in Chicago federal court.

With the FIFA suit parents of players claim there is more than money at stake. In the San Francisco federal court where the case was filed parents and players are demanding changes to rules and policies with the hope of protecting players from an “epidemic” of head injuries. No monetary damages are being sought in the case that also names several American based adult and youth soccer groups. According the parents launching the suit over 240 million people play the sport of soccer, and 8 million of these players are U.S. Youth league players.

In the last few years, concerns about sports related concussions and possible brain damage have seen changes in other sports. As medical science has become more aware of the lasting effects of concussions to concentration, memory, balance, and coordination sports doctors are taking this type of sport injury more seriously. Moves to protect players, especially young players from such injury have been made in many sports especially American football.

But according to adult players of soccer, and the parents of some young players this is not true in the game of soccer. Statics show that this sport ranks among the top for the number of concussions occurring per game. Unlike most other top U.S. sports women are sustaining injuries at a rate larger than male players. According to the parent’s suit soccer lawsuit researchers have found that “heading” or passing the soccer ball to score is linked to brain injuries, which can affect the memory of amateur adult players.

The effective guidelines that parents in the suit want to see have not been adopted by FIFA or by U.S. soccer organizations according to the language of the lawsuit. The suit contends that about a third of the concussions suffered by soccer players are caused either by heading or by running into another player, colliding with an object or falling to the ground.

FIFA, American Youth Soccer Organization, and three other groups are named in the suit. The suit asks for a medical-monitoring program for those who have played the game for teams governed by FIFA or a named group in the past decade.

Spokespeople for the FIFA, which is based in Zurich have not responded to the suit yet, except to state they haven’t yet seen the complaint.


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