Gary Lineker calls for ban on HEADING in training at all levels, claiming ‘there is absolutely no reason’ for it as research points to shocking increase in neurological diseases in former footballers
Gary Lineker is leading the call for football to abandon heading during training sessions, following proven research of former players being increasingly susceptible to neurological diseases.
Lineker’s words come off the back of Sportsmail’s recently launched campaign to tackle football’s dementia scandal, calling for meaningful action in the sport to address the long term effects of heading the ball.
Speaking this week on the topic, Lineker has outlined how he only ever used to head the ball during matches after repeated aerial challenges as a teenager ‘worried’ him.
Gary Lineker has become the latest big name to speak out on the effects of heading the ball
Lineker has now called for all players, past and present, to back the idea and force football into making a change for the health benefits of all those involved.
‘There’s absolutely no reason to head the ball in training,’ Lineker said during an interview with the Telegraph.
‘I headed it a lot in my teenage years, which worries me, but very rarely after that as it seemed unwise. Only ever in games. All players should back this.’
Lineker insists there is ‘absolutely no reason’ to head in training, and he only did so in games
Studies have found that those who played the game professionally are 3.5 times more likely to die from neurodegenerative disease than the general population – a shocking statistic that needs to be addressed urgently.
Sportsmail columnist Chris Sutton is at the forefront of the latest campaign, having courageously spoken about how his father Mike, also a former footballer, is dying of dementia.
Sportsmail has also requested the PFA to appoint a dedicated ‘dementia team’ to deal with concerns of those connected to the game and to help fund Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect support line.
Lineker is not the only high profile former star to voice a strong opinion, after English football royalty Sir Geoff Hurst called for a complete ban on heading the ball.
Footballers are increasingly susceptible to brain issues given how much they use their head
More and more people are talking about it, and more pressure is going to be put on governing bodies to do whatever they can,’ Hurst, 78, told The Telegraph.
‘The danger for me is the amount of times you head the ball in practice and not in a game. Going back, I wouldn’t do the practice. I would cut that out tomorrow.
‘At West Ham, we had a ball hanging from the roof. You were heading that 15, 20 or 30 times in the space of 10 or 15 minutes.’
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: SPORTSMAIL’S CAMPAIGN TO TACKLE DEMENTIA