Plaintiffs in a proposed class action injury lawsuit scored a major goal in an action targeting the U.S. Soccer Federal, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the U.S. Youth Soccer Association Inc., National Association of Competitive Soccer Clubs Inc., California Youth Soccer Association and the American Youth Soccer Organization.
The New York Times reported that as part of an effort to resolve the Meher et al v. FIFA et al litigation, it would impose a series of safety initiatives specifically aimed at reducing head injuries for players – particularly women and children. The policy would set strict limits on young players, expressly banning participants under the age of 10 from “heading” the ball. Players between the ages of 11 and 13 will be required to significantly reduce the number of “headers” they can take on in practice.
Regulations will be required for all U.S. Soccer youth national academies and teams – which will include Major League Soccer Youth clubs. However, the rules will remain “recommendations” for development programs and other soccer associations that under the control of U.S. Soccer.