West Ham have become the first club in English football to make use of concussion substitutes, after withdrawing Issa Diop during their 1-0 FA Cup fifth round defeat at Manchester United.
The defender was brought off at half-time following a clash of heads with Anthony Martial, with his club confirming they’d made use of the new protocols. He’d already come on as a sub for Angelo Ogbonna in the 16th minute, but was replaced by Ryan Fredericks at the break.
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The FA Cup, Premier League and Women’s Super League recently approved the trials of two permanent concussion substitutions, which first came into effect at the weekend. The permitted changes are in addition to the five subs which are already approved in the FA Cup.
As part of the rules, the opposing team are also allowed to make an extra sub, for non-concussion reasons, for sporting integrity - but it was an option United declined to use.
The new regulations are part of a trial by football’s lawmakers, the International Football Association Board, designed to encourage clubs to protect players who have a head injury.
After the match, West Ham manager David Moyes played down any long-term concerns about Diop’s condition.
“We think (Diop) is fine and I still think he’s fine”, he said.
“But he had a bump on the head at half-time, so I chose to take no risks and took him off”.
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