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Sweeping lawsuit targets soccer concussions
First Published Aug 27 2014 09:44 pm • Last Updated Aug 27 2014 11:28 pm

San Francisco • Soccer joined the growing legal debate over head injuries Wednesday after FIFA and some of the sport’s governing bodies in the United States were made the target of a lawsuit seeking new safety rules.

A group of soccer parents and players filed the lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco. Lawyers representing the parents and players are asking a judge to grant the lawsuit class-action status on behalf of thousands of current and former soccer players who competed for teams governed by FIFA and several U.S.-based soccer organizations.

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The NFL, NHL and NCAA have all faced similar lawsuits.

In a proposed legal settlement in another case, the NCAA last month said it will toughen return-to-play rules for players who receive head blows. It also agreed to create a $70 million fund to pay for thousands of current and former athletes to undergo testing to determine whether they suffered brain trauma.

Seattle-based lawyer Steve Berman helped negotiate the NCAA settlement and also represents the soccer parents and players who filed the lawsuit Wednesday. The soccer lawsuit doesn’t demand monetary damages, but it is demanding that the soccer governing bodies alter safety rules including limiting headers for players 17 years old and younger.

"We believe it is imperative we force these organizations to put a stop to hazardous practices that put players at unnecessary risk," Berman said.




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