No heading! Premier League managers want headers to be curbed if it leads to dementia

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Nov 20, 2020, 08.32 PM(IST)

Representative image. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Players should stop heading the ball during training sessions if research proves it leads to dementia when they age-old, several Premier League managers have touched upon the topic when it came to the fore after the demise of England’s Nobby Stiles.

Players should stop heading the ball during training sessions if research proves it leads to dementia when they age-old, several Premier League managers have touched upon the topic when it came to the fore after the demise of England’s Nobby Stiles.

Stiles and many of his 1966 World Cup-winning teammates had been diagnosed with dementia before their deaths. Whereas Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton, 83, was recently diagnosed.

While Stiles’ family hoped it would lead the way to address dementia whereas Geoff Hurst, England’s hat-trick star from the 1966 final said that kids shouldn’t be doing it at all as heading the ball often in practice was dangerous. 

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“If they find out through the research that heading the ball 10 times during training is going to cause you dementia, then let’s stop it,” West Bromwich Albion boss Slaven Bilic told reporters.

“For me, the great thing is they are talking about it and recognising it.”

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said he is now looking at how his players train and favoured rules to stop heading in youth football before putting out guidelines for top-tier football. 

“The rules need to be stronger to make sure we’re not making younger children head it if they don’t need to,” Lampard said.

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“We have to start with youth football. When children are developing, we can control the levels of training. Anything we can do to make things safer, we should.”

Aston Villa’s Dean Smith, whose father was diagnosed with dementia before passing away due to COVID-19, echoed Bilic’s view about needing more research.

“Dementia and Alzheimer’s is more prevalent throughout the world now, unfortunately, but I think if there is a correlation between heading a football and dementia then we need to do something,” Smith said.

“The balls were heavier back then. We are all saddened about the former players who are suffering with dementia.”

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