By Noel Whelan

14th Jun, 2022 | 1:07pm

Leeds United employee calls for major rule change after worrying news emerges

Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has echoed calls for temporary concussion substitutes despite football’s lawmakers rejecting their introduction.

The ex-Whites star and current club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the current permanent substitute solution is not effective enough and more should be done to protect the “safety and health” of players.

On Monday (13 June), the International Football Association Board rejected a trial of temporary concussion substitutes – which are currently used in rugby league among other sports – deciding instead to extend testing of protocols that allow only permanent replacements.

As quoted by The Telegraph (13 June), campaigner Dawn Astle accused the Ifab of “ignorance” and insisted players would “pay the price” with club doctors denied the “tools to do their job properly”.

Temporary changes would allow medical professionals more time to accurately assess players after a head injury before making a decision on whether they are allowed to continue.

Whelan insisted the “safety and health” of players should “always come first”.

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He told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “I think if you go into other sports like rugby league, very rarely do you see players come back onto the field after a head injury.

“It may be slightly different and perhaps more severe. But they go through a protocol and there is rarely any element of risk taken.

“I think football should take a leaf out of the book of rugby league. They get plenty of time off the field to assess the players.

“There could be scope to introduce a temporary substitute to cover that.

“Players can be assessed off the pitch and given the all-clear. They can then go back on and take their place on the field again.

“There are many things that need to be looked at. The safety and health of the players should always come first.

“They’ve got to find a way of making these rules they already have more effective.”

In other news, Football Insider can reveal a bid has been tabled for Leeds United star.