Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
FIFA criticised for not protecting players against concussion -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

CHRIS UHLMANN: The world football players' union says the governing body is failing to protect players.

The criticism comes after a World Cup match where a player who was briefly knocked out returned to the field.

The union has called for an investigation into the incident and wants clear guidelines so decisions on players' safety are made by independent staff and not those with vested interests.

Sarah Sedghi reports.

COMMENTATOR: ..Alvaro Pereira and the doctor on as well... He's talking, I think...

SARAH SEDGHI: The Uruguayan defender Alvaro Pereira was briefly knocked out during last week's match against England, but soon resumed playing.

Andrew Orsatti, a spokesman for FIFPro, the soccer World Players' Union, has questioned that decision.

ANDREW ORSATTI: FIFA is failing to protect the health of the players who we represent, plain and simple. They don't have effective protocols with regards to concussion.

And we also believe that their policy on heat and the conditions that players are exposed to is insufficient, dangerously high and we think that there is a review required across the board in terms of getting back to what is truly important and that is protecting the health of human beings.

SARAH SEDGHI: Andrew Orsatti, who grew up in Sydney, is a former player himself and a well known football commentator.

He's called on football's global governing body to set up clear guidelines for dealing with players with head injuries. He says the system is too ambiguous and currently does not take care of players adequately.

Pereira played on in that match against England against the advice of the team's medical staff.

Andrew Orsatti says the stakes are high in World Cup matches and that can affect a player's judgement.

ANDREW ORSATTI: The player in a situation like that, it's very emotional. They work all their career to play in a World Cup. They're in the heat of the moment, they're playing against an opponent who they just want to see off - and we know and we understand at FIFPro that the players want to participate in the world's biggest sporting event. We do not have a problem with that.

But if he has just taken a potentially concussive blow to the head, who's to say that he is in the right position to not make a rash decision which could jeopardise his health.

SARAH SEDGHI: There currently is a worldwide debate about the safety of players in all football codes.

Just last year, America's National Football League paid out more than $750 million to former players for hiding the long-term effects of concussion. This includes the onset of degenerative brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE.

In February this year, the first confirmed case was diagnosed in a soccer player.

Andrew Orsatti hopes the long-standing concerns of FIFPro will be a catalyst for a safer sport.

ANDREW ORSATTI: What we're telling them effectively is not new, it is the failure to implement a concussion protocol failure on their part. We believe should be thoroughly investigated, and all in the interest of promoting a better sport.

It's not about playing the blame game, it's about making certain people wake up to the reality that they are playing with people's lives.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Andrew Orsatti from the World Player's Union ending Sarah Sedghi's report and the World Cup commentary in that story was courtesy of SBS.