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Steven Gerrard against proposed ban on children heading footballs

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

4:19 PM - 16 Jan 2020



Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is against a total ban on children heading footballs which the Scottish FA is expected to announce later this month.

BBC Scotland reported today that the Scottish FA is planning to announce a ban on under-12 players heading the ball in the next two weeks.

The proposed ban comes in response to a report conducted by experts at the University of Glasgow which found that former players are more at risk of dying from dementia which Gerrard accepts is a serious issue.

"It's certainly something that I back, in terms of dementia and the seriousness of it," said Gerrard.

"But I think there are ways that you can do it around banning heading totally for under-twelves. I used to love heading balls from, probably the age of four.

"So I wouldn't take it away from them completely because they're watching their heroes every single day on the TV, heading and scoring goals...top, top players throughout the leagues, throughout the world.

"But there are, certainly, things that you can help them with in terms of maybe making the balls smaller or lighter or doing heading in a different way, without using the heavy case balls, for sure."

The report found thatĀ former professional players are three and a half times more likely to die of degenerative brain disease.

The statistic was put to the Rangers boss who would prefer to explore alternative solutions to the issue.

"The numbers are scary, they are alarming," added Gerrard. "That's why I agree with the seriousness, that it's being taken.

"But I also think that we can do it in different ways, without using your normal matchday ball every single day throughout the sessions, whenever we're talking about these babies, or under-fourteens or whatever number you want to put on it.

"We do certainly need to help them and support them, for sure."



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