PFA calls for boot safety checks
Players' union chief Gordon Taylor has called for new safety checks to be carried out on football boots to guard against the type of wound Wayne Rooney sustained to his head in training.
England striker Rooney suffered the blow in a collision with Phil Jones during a Manchester United session, a deep gash causing him to be initially sidelined from duty with club and country, and, once he was passed fit to return, forced to don protective headwear.
Taylor fears players are left vulnerable to such injuries by the prevalence of 'hybrid' boots, which on their underside have a tread that is the meeting point between studs and blades, that can often become sharp.
The Professional Footballers' Association chairman wants the sport's world governing body FIFA involved in looking at the in-vogue boots, and claims from his discussions with manufacturers that they would not object to new standards being introduced.
As well as his recent injury blow, Rooney also suffered a grisly leg injury after being caught in a tackle by Hugo Rodallega last season.
Taylor told The Independent: "Wayne is a very high-profile player and both these incidents could have ended his career.
"It's put it into perspective because if you get an injury to a top player it gets a great deal of publicity, but you wonder how many times it has happened lower down the scale where there isn't so much focus.
"I think the boot manufacturers are becoming more and more aware there is a problem but I think it's something that needs to come from football with regard to health and safety issues. This has happened enough times for it not to be coincidence. It's very dangerous for us to ignore it.
"This is something we want to pursue with FIFA. Manufacturers are willing to take part in this because in a litigious day and age it could be a problem for them in the future."
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