Poll reveals public support for Government investigation into heading

Football chiefs SHOULD be held to account over link between heading in football and dementia as poll shows growing public support for Government investigation in boost to Sportsmail’s campaign

  • Sportsmail have been campaigning for football to tackle its dementia scandal
  • Many greats from football’s past have suffered from dementia in later life 
  • The game’s bosses could be dragged before MPs and told to explain themselves
  • A poll has shown that the public support such an inquiry taking place  

The public support a parliamentary inquiry into the link between heading in football and neurodegenerative diseases, according to a poll.

As revealed by Sportsmail before Christmas, a group of former footballers, managers and politicians took this newspaper’s campaign — calling on football to finally tackle its dementia scandal — to the Government. 

Former England stars Peter Reid and Viv Anderson, as well as ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock, were among the signatories calling for action.

Football’s lawmakers could be forced to explain their lack of action on heading in the game 

A poll has shown the public are behind a Government investigation into football and dementia

A demand was sent for the matter to be debated and for the DCMS select committee to investigate — which could see the game’s bosses dragged before MPs and told to explain themselves.

The poll, carried out by thinktank FIFA Ethics and Regulations Watch, who were behind the letters, quizzed more than 2,000 adults.

When asked if the Government should intervene, 36 per cent said they should, while 23 per cent agreed they should do so if football’s authorities fail to do so. 

Fewer than a quarter (23 per cent) said Parliament should not ‘interfere in the administration of football’, even over safety fears, while 19 per cent of respondents were unsure.

England icon Sir Bobby Charlton has been a recent football legend diagnosed with dementia

Some are calling for heading to be taken out of the game to protect stars in their later lives 

Should a select committee hearing be held, the likes of Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the PFA, could be hauled before MPs to explain the union’s role in the game’s response to dementia. The Government are yet to respond.

Meanwhile, concussion substitutes will not be trialled during the FA Cup third round this week due to delays in the rules being approved by IFAB, football’s lawmakers. 

The FA doesn’t expect the use of an extra sub to be approved by IFAB until later this month.

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