Nigerian-American brain injury expert, Dr. Bennet Omalu, says heading should be restricted in the professional football and banned for under-18 players.
Dr. Omalu, who discovered the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which has long-term effects and is caused by repeated head trauma, believes heading a traveling ball is dangerous.
“It does not make sense to control an object travelling at a high velocity with your head,” Dr. Omalu said while speaking to a BBC Radio 5 live’s programme.
“I believe, eventually, at the professional level we need to restrict heading of the ball. It is dangerous.”
He added: “No child under the age of 18 should be heading the ball in soccer.
“Kids under the age of 12 to 14 should play a less contact form of soccer which we should develop for them. Kids between 12 and 18 can play but should not head the ball.
“I know this is difficult for many people but science evolves. We change with time. Society changes. It is time for us to change some of our ways.”
Born in Nnokwa, Anambra in southeastern Nigeria, Omalu, a physician, forensic pathologist, and neuropathologist, is a professor at the University of California, Davis, Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
He discovered and publish findings of CTE in rugby players, who had died suddenly and unexpectedly following years of struggling with cognitive and intellectual impairment, destitution, mood disorders and suicide attempts as a result of a form of dementia that is induced by repeated blows to the head.
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