Outgoing PFA chief Gordon Taylor and FA officials are set to get a grilling next month as MPs seek clarity on football’s dementia crisis
- Gordon Taylor is due to leave his role as chief executive of the PFA in June
- Former Scotland ace Gordon McQueen was diagnosed with dementia this week
- Two thirds of amateur footballers fear that heading may impact their health
- Sportsmail released a seven-point charter for the FA to address dementia
- Five of the 1966 World Cup winning team has been diagnosed with dementia
Football’s leading figures are set to be hauled before a parliamentary hearing into the sport’s dementia crisis.
In a significant development, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee will hold a session next month, at which Professional Footballers’ Association boss Gordon Taylor will be asked to explain the union’s plan to deal with the game’s link to neurodegenerative diseases.
Officials from the Football Association will also be grilled by MPs. Representatives from a number of other sports and players’ bodies, including rugby, are expected to appear as well.
Outgoing PFA chief Gordon Taylor has been criticised for failing to handle the issue adequately
The hearing is yet to be announced officially. However, the focus of the session, which will take place remotely, is expected to be on future moves rather than a finger-pointing exercise highlighting previous failings.
With regards to football, a reduction in heading, concussion substitutions and other safety measures will be among the topics of conversation, as well as an examination of the sport’s links to increased cases of dementia. The views of those suffering from dementia and related illnesses, experts and their carers are also expected to be sought.
The move comes as a group of politicians and former players, inspired by Sportsmail’s campaign calling on football to finally tackle its dementia scandal, wrote to the Government to demand a hearing before Christmas.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden is expected to lead the session
Ex-footballers including Peter Reid and Viv Anderson, along with former Labour leader Lord Kinnock, were among a number of signatories calling for action.
The group want the game’s bosses to explain themselves, but there is thought to be a desire among those involved to focus on where the sport goes from here. Areas such as research, funding and preventative measures are among those to be looked at, along with whether enough support is being given to those affected by dementia and related diseases.
Taylor is due to leave his £2million-a-year role as chief executive of the PFA in June. However, he has overseen the union’s response to the crisis, which has been criticised.
Since the launch of Sportsmail’s campaign, a series of positive steps have been taken, including an increase in funding for research and the PFA’s decision to set up a dementia arm to help former footballers suffering from the disease and their carers.
Former Scotland defender Gordon McQueen was diagnosed with vascular dementia this week
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