Washington (AFP) - A group of American parents is suing FIFA to force it to limit the number of times young soccer players can head the ball.
The class action suit was filed Wednesday in California to demand more protection from concussions, and also names as defendants the United States Soccer Federation and the US Youth Soccer Association.
"There is an epidemic of concussion injuries in soccer at all levels around the world, including in the United States, from youth to professionals," the complaint alleges.
The suit calls for limiting the number of headers that young players can perform, arguing that their neck muscles are weaker and less able to absorb the impact of the ball.
It also calls for the monitoring of people who played football as children and young adults who may have suffered concussions, and other new safety rules.
The suit, who does not claim damages, says the defendants have the duty to minimize the risk of injury.
"FIFA and each defendant acted carelessly and negligently in their positions as the regulatory bodies for soccer and soccer players," the complaint alleges.