FIFA, others defeat US lawsuit over soccer concussions

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 17, 2015 9:58 AM

(Reuters) - A U.S. judge has dismissed much of a lawsuit by soccer players and parents seeking to force FIFA and other governing bodies to change the sport's rules to limit the risk of concussions and other head injuries, especially for children.

In a decision on Thursday, Chief Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the federal court in Oakland, California dismissed FIFA as a defendant, saying she lacked jurisdiction over the sport's international governing body.

The judge also said the plaintiffs, who sought rule changes including limits on headers and changes to protocols for substitutions during games, could not pursue any claim that seeks to change FIFA's "laws of the game."

Hamilton said the plaintiffs may seek to replead some of their claims. The defendants included the United States Soccer Federation, the U.S. Youth Soccer Federation, and three other soccer groups, among others.

The case is Mehr et al. v. Fédération Internationale de Football Association et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California No. 14-03879.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)