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Concussion replacements added for Copa America under the pink substitution pass system

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LUQUE, Paraguay (AP) — Coaches at next month’s Copa America will be able to make a 6th and extra substitution in cases of suspected head trauma or concussion.

South American soccer’s governing body CONMEBOL announced the decision Tuesday, making it valid for all its competitions once the Copa America starts in the United States on June 20.

CONMEBOL issued a statement saying coaches will need to notify the referee or the 4th match official of the concussion replacement through a pink substitution pass. A similar method was implemented in Major League Soccer in 2021 as part of a FIFA pilot program.

The player who leaves the pitch under those conditions will have to go to the locker rooms or a hospital for assessment.

“The substitution for concussion will take place regardless of the number of substitutions until the moment it happens,” CONMEBOL said. “When the concussion substitution takes place, the opposing team will automatically be allowed to make an additional substitution.”

Team doctors who detect a suspected concussion or head trauma on the pitch will have up to 24 hours to send a medical report to CONMEBOL, the South American body said.


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