Dr. Bennet Omalu is a well-known neurologist in England who advocates for banning the heads of players under 18 years of age. This gesture would have consequences on their cognitive abilities.
Heads can often achieve great football goals, but the sporting feat would not be without consequences for health. An English neurologist recommends banning it for young underage players in an interview with British radio BBC.
'Heading should be limited in professional football & banned for under-18s': //t.co/suKeP0JTZO- BBC Football News (@bbcfoot) August 8, 2018
The risks of chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Dr. Bennet Omalu is known around the world for discovering chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Provoked by the accumulation of concussions, it was originally called "boxer's disease" but it concerns other sports like rugby or football. When a player makes a head, it creates a "sub-concussion". If the gesture is rare, it does not matter, but for professional players who regularly make heads, it could become. Dr. Omalu recommends "restricting the use of the head at the professional level" and prohibit it in young people under 18 years.
Risks for balance and memory
According to a study published last July, making heads regularly increases the risk of equilibrium disorders and can cause long-term neurological disorders. In 2016, researchers at the University of Stirling in the UK showed that 24 hours after a head, memory capacity is reduced from 41 to 67%.
"I know for some it's hard to imagine, but science is evolving, changing over time, society is changing, it's time for us to change some of our habits," said Dr. Bennet Omalu. In the United States, since 2015, children under the age of ten are not allowed to play with the head.