Heading a football by Children should no longer be allowed and it should be restricted within the professional game, according to a leading brain injury expert.
Dr Bennet Omalu, who discovered the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), has described heading in football as “dangerous” and said it is “time for us to change our ways”.
Speaking to Phil William’s on BBC Radio 5 Live, the eminent forensic pathologist and neuropatholoist said: “It does not make sense to control an object traveling at a high velocity with your head.
“I believe, eventually, at the professional level we need to restrict heading of the ball. “It is dangerous.”
Now Dr Omalu has set his sights on English football warning heading could result in similar brain damage NFL players displayed.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live:”The human brain floats like a balloon inside your skull so when you head the ball you suffer brain damage. “You damage your brain
when you head the ball.
“Playing soccer would increase your risk of suffering brain damage when you are much older and developing dementia and CTE.” He wants a more contactless form of football for kids under 12 to 14 and a ban on heading until the age of 18.
The US physician said: “Kids under the age of 12 to 14 should play a less contact form of soccer which we should develop for them.
“Kids between 12 and 18 can play but should not head the ball. “I know this is difficult for many people but science evolves.
“We change with time. Society changes. It is time for us to change some of our ways.” Former England footballer Jeff Astle
died in 2004 after suffering with Alzheimer’s
A coroner ruled he died from brain trauma caused by the heading of footballs during his 16-year career. Yesterday his daughter Dawn called for more investigation into the possible link between CTE and heading.
“This is fact now. We are not just assuming other players may have died of the same illness as Dad, this is now fact,” she told the BBC.
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