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Premier League to support new PFA brain health assistance fund

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) have created a new fund to assist former players impacted by dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions which will be supported by the Premier League.

A study commissioned by the PFA and the Football Association found that former professional footballers were 3.46 times more likely to have neurodegenerative diseases and more at risk of being diagnosed with dementia.

The FA has been looking to mitigate against potential health risks and dementia, and last year granted approval to run a trial to remove deliberate heading in matches across the Under-12 level. Now, there will be financial assistance to those already impacted.

"An initial amount of one million pounds will be made available immediately to provide discretionary financial support to former players and their families to help improve their quality of life," the Premier League said on their website on Wednesday.

"The fund will be in place whilst the PFA and Premier League seek to establish a charity involving other football stakeholders as the longer-term vehicle for support."

Those who apply for financial support will be assessed by a panel made up of experts in neurology, nursing and social care.

"The welfare and care of players has always been a priority for the Premier League, and we feel it is important to offer our support to this newly established brain health fund," Richard Masters, Chief Executive of the Premier League said.

"This is an important step forward in the way football provides practical support to former players who develop dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions," Maheta Molango, Chief Executive of the PFA said.

"There is much that still needs to be done, but this is a positive development which will provide help to former players and their families, and which demonstrates how football has to work together on this issue," Molango added. REUTERS