Brain injuries in sport inquiry and other stories

Professional Rugby players are at risk of early dementia caused by head injury. Photo credit: Fanny Shertzer

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced that it will be launching an inquiry into the links between long term brain injuries and sports.

The government inquiry follows a 2019 FIELD study which found that professional footballers are three-and-a-half times more likely to suffer and die from neurodegenerative disease.

Changes across football and rugby codes are now being considered or have been launched, with concussion substitutes and on-pitch concussion checks currently being trialled in the Premier League and the FA Cup.

The Concussion in Sport inquiry will start next Tuesday, witnesses will be called to examine the issue.

Tokyo Olympics add 12 women to executive board

In a late push for gender equality by the new head of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee, 12 women directors have been added to the executive board.

Seiko Hashimoto, who is a former Olympic speedster, replaced Yoshiro Mori as head of the committee after his sexist remarks became public.

Ms Hashimoto has said that she aims to have women make up 40% of the board members.

The new additions make up 42% of the total 45 members on the committee.

In a recent board meeting, Hashimoto said regarding gender equality: “We believe that it is necessary to work with a sense of speed and produce solid results in order to restore the trust in the organising committee.”

The move is seen by many to be a largely symbolic gesture, with just over four months to go until the opening ceremony on 23 July.

FA rules out extra Euro games in UK

Wembley Stadium will host both semi-finals and the final of Euro 2020 championships. Photo credit: Steve Dawson. 

The Football Association (FA) has said it does not plan to host additional games for Euro 2020 in the UK this summer.

The announcement follows comments Prime Minister Boris Johnson made in The Sun on Tuesday, saying that because of the vaccine rollout, Britain is ready to take on more games than both semi-finals and the final it’s already set to host at Wembley. 

Currently, the tournament is due to be hosted across 12 different European cities, including Budapest, Glasgow, Copenhagen, and Rome. 

In a statement, the FA said its focus “remains on delivering the seven games at Wembley inclusive of both semi-finals and the showpiece final and welcome all efforts being made by government to ensure as many fans can attend.”

The UEFA executive committee will meet after April 5 to find a solution, when host cities will have confirmed the number of fans allowed in each stadium.

Premier League fixtures

At 6pm, Burney host Leicester City, who have been losing back-to-back games in all competitions.

Meanwhile at Bramall Lane, a last place Sheffield United will face off against Aston Villa, who will be missing captain Jack Grealish due to a shin injury.

Later on, Crystal Palace will be missing star forward Wilfried Zaha in taking on Manchester United, who have won four successive Premier League away games against the Eagles.

Burnley v Leicester City and Crystal Palace v Manchester United will be available to watch on Sky Sports, while Sheffield United v Aston Villa will be available to watch on BT Sport.

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