Concussion: 2022 Qatar World Cup to use specialist spotters

World cup final
Germany's Christoph Kramer received a concussive injury during the 2014 World Cup final. He was allowed to play for 15 minutes after the injury took place. It wasn't until he asked the referee, "Is this the final?" that he was removed from the field.

Fifa is introducing concussion spotters at the 2022 Qatar World Cup to help with the treatment of head injuries and "to make the game a lot safer".

Experts will monitor from seats in the stands and identify possible brain injuries that may have been missed.

Team doctors will also have instant access to video replays.

"Often, managers, assistant referees and players are in front of you, so it is easy to miss injuries," said Fifa's director of medicine, Andrew Massey.

"All Fifa competitions will have video replays. All Fifa competitions will have concussion spotters in the stand who can go through all these things and relay information to the team benches if it is needed."

It will be the first time concussion spotters will be used at a major international football tournament, although they were trialled during Fifa's Club World Cup.

They are already in use in the NFL and rugby union.

Massey, a former Liverpool team doctor, said Fifa is also aiming to change the language used around concussive injuries.

"We use the tag line, 'If in doubt, sit them out'," he told the organisation's 'Living Football' series.

"When I am speaking about concussion, if I change the terminology from 'concussion' to 'brain injury', straight away people sit up and think, 'oh this is a little bit more serious'."

A new rule for international matches means permanent substitutions can be made if a player suffers a head injury, even if all replacements have already been used.