The Scottish Football Association are considering preventing youngsters up to the age of 12 years old, who play the beautiful game, from heading the ball after a report linked dementia and football.
This proposal follows on from a study which took place at Glasgow University, which revealed former professional players were three and half times more likely to die of a degenerative brain disease due to using this skill during their careers.
If approved the whole of Scotland would bring this ban into place, resulting in the country becoming the first in Europe to stop kids from heading a football completely throughout matches. The United States has already implemented a similar rule by banning children aged ten and below from using headers in both games and training.
Professional footballers who are originally from the region, such as Grant Hanley and Kevin Kyle, are known for their heading abilities throughout their careers. SFA president Rod Petrie and vice-president Mike Mulraney will forward proactive measures to the board for consideration, including a ban on heading for under-12s.
A SFA spokesperson said: “The new presidential team are determined to be proactive on such a serious issue affecting the national game and are prepared to offer a practical test case in Europe through a range of potential measures being implemented in Scotland.”
Annandale’s Little Tekkers Football Academy coach and owner Bryan Gilfillan said: “From a personal point of view, it’s good for the kids if this rule comes into place. We have 80 kids under the age of 12 and we always try to implement keeping the ball on the ground, because at the end of the day it’s called football.”
He added: “I do think this proposal is a great idea and will hopefully help prolong these kids’ lives.”