Following the launch of the UEFA concussion awareness campaign in October 2019 and as a further step towards protecting the health of players, UEFA organised a specific concussion management webinar with the team doctors of the 24 national associations participating in UEFA EURO 2020.
The purpose of the webinar was to provide the team doctors with the latest guidance and information available on concussion management as well as to answer their questions on this very important topic, which is often underestimated by technical staff and players because many of them still do not know enough about what a concussion is.
Doctors can also be put under undue pressure from team officials, spectators and players, so to protect their duty to safeguard players’ health, the UEFA Medical Committee has drawn up a series of recommendations to help doctors in their tasks. Those recommendations have been incorporated into the EURO 2020 Concussion Charter.
The general secretaries, head coaches and team doctors of the 24 teams participating in UEFA EURO 2020 have signed the charter, pledging their support and committing to implement the following recommendations:
- All players have to undergo a neurological baseline test to support concussion management assessment on the field and on return-to-play decisions. The value of this test is that if a player has a suspected concussion during the tournament, a similar assessment can be made and the results of the initial baseline test can be used for comparison.
- Use of a medical review system that is provided free of charge by UEFA and that will allow team doctors to review match footage using different camera angles and slow-motion functions to better assess any potential head injury and/or concussion incidents.
- Organisation of an education session for all players and team staff using the video and the poster produced by UEFA for the awareness campaign.
- For any head injury and/or suspected concussion, the team doctor should inform in writing UEFA before the player returns to play or train that he has passed each of the steps set out in the Graduated Return to Play Protocol referred in the manual of the UEFA Football Doctor Education Programme or equivalent tool, and that the player is fit for the competition or to train.
The charter states: “As the General Secretary, Head Coach and Team Doctor of the national team selection, we fully support UEFA’s guidance on how to recognise a concussion and how it should be managed from the time of injury through safe return to football. We confirm that if a player of our team is suspected of having suffered a concussion, he will be immediately removed from the pitch, whether in training or match play.”