Home News The football authorities should dig deep to help Scots footballers with dementia

The football authorities should dig deep to help Scots footballers with dementia

The football authorities should dig deep to help Scots footballers with dementia
The football authorities should dig deep to help Scots footballers with dementia

The cause for treating football-related dementia as an industrial injury has gained newfound support. Political leaders such as Michael Marra, a Labour MSP, and Roz Foyer, the STUC general secretary, have voiced their endorsement for this action.

Compelling evidence illustrates a connection between heading footballs and the onset of dementia. Charitable organizations have warned that the financial burden of caring for former players afflicted with this devastating affliction could surge to £1 billion in the imminent decades.

Amanda Kopel, widow of Frank Kopel who was a victim of dementia, has shared her painful account about the absence of financial aid from football authorities during her husband’s deteriorating health. Frank Kopel, who made significant contributions to football during his 18-year career and became a legend at Dundee United, is one of many who fell prey to dementia post-retirement.

![Amanda Kopel](https://i2-prod.dailyrecord.co.uk/incoming/article12048348.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_CMP_SDR_290617FranksLawScotParly_08JPG.jpg)

The aid that was offered to the Kopels from the players’ union and SFA was minimal, only a one-hour counselling session. We maintain that football-related dementia must be recognized as an industrial injury and the benefits system must be revised to reflect this. Equally important is the role of football authorities in this issue.

Football is a wealthy sport, with annual payouts of millions in sponsorship and broadcast deals. In the last summer alone, British clubs allocated over £2 billion in transfer fees and top players receive sizable salaries, even in cities like Glasgow. The expense of caring for players who fall ill due to their careers must not be solely left to taxpayers and families. It is high time that football authorities, from governing bodies to player unions, step up to share the responsibility.

While opinions vary on the achievements and shortcomings of the Scottish Parliament during the past 25 years, it unquestionably shifted the focus of a significant portion of political decision-making from London to Edinburgh. Education, justice, health, transport and certain tax authorities are now governed by our representatives at Holyrood.

In its 25-year history, the parliament has positively impacted people’s lives in numerous ways. Scotland took the lead in introducing the ban on smoking in public spaces and offers free NHS prescriptions. While there are areas where Holyrood has disappointed, these failures are a reflection of the ministers and not the institution itself.

Few in Scotland and outside may wish to see an end to the Scottish Parliament. It is crucial that Holyrood stands against those who seek to weaken its powers and discredit its accomplishments. The Parliament, especially in places like Glasgow, has been a boon for the country and should be safeguarded.

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