This is the latest development of #TheFIFA5 Lawsuit that pits three mothers and two female college students vs FIFA, soccer’s worldwide governing body—the Fèdèration Internationale de Football Association, soccer’s worldwide governing body and affiliated soccer organizations in the United States – US Soccer, US Club Soccer USCS, American Youth Soccer Organization AYSO, and California Youth Soccer Association, Inc, in the class action lawsuit filed on August 27, 2014.
A second round of paperwork filed by FIFA and the US national soccer organizations adds a new twist to the “Concussions are not our problem” argument by arguing they don’t own the soccer fields to the claim of “no direct contact with players” thus powerless and landless, they have no influence over youth concussion policy.
For a quick review of the the first round of Motions to Dismiss papers, the international or national soccer organizations stated they were NOT responsible to change any rules around concussion issues because:
- They “lack direct contact with the players.” THUS SHIFTING BLAME TO THE VOLUNTEER COACHES
- They “have no duty to make the game safer or to ameliorate risks inherent in the sport; their only duty is to not increase such risks. “ STATUS QUO IS STATUS QUO
- FIFA clearly states it “has no legal duty to Plaintiffs to prevent risks that are inherent in the sport, like those from heading a soccer ball.” PARENTS – YOU KNEW THE RISKS FOR YOUR CHILDREN
- US Soccer states, “Legislature in each of those states has specifically addressed the issue of concussion management for youth sports, and none has imposed such obligations on an organization like US Soccer. Rather, like the Consensus Statement, the focus of the various state concussion laws is on educating and assigning responsibility to those individuals who have direct contact with the players to prevent a child suspected of having suffered a concussion from returning to play without first obtaining clearance from the child’s medical provider.” THOSE THE VOLUNTEER COACHES AGAIN…
And now a fifth reason:
5. They don’t “own the soccer fields.” THUS SUE THE TOWN AND THE SCHOOLS
These papers a chilling read as “not our responsibility” approach will do more to scare the volunteer coach away from working with kids than asking them to do 20 min online CDC training course as Norwalk has so successfully done. Norwalk’s City Concussion Plan has addressed concussion education and policy by using their ownership of the sports fields and gyms for the greater good of youth sports. Unfortunately, FIFA, US Soccer, US Club Soccer USCS, American Youth Soccer Organization AYSO, and California Youth Soccer Association, Inc, seem to believe they are powerless and blameless over a simple policy change which would make the beautiful game safer for all.