In addition to the many enduring memories of great performances from this year’s World Cup, a slew of head injuries will linger as well. Brazilian star Neymar is going to miss the rest of the tournament with a broken vertebra, sparking complaints that FIFA has encouraged referees to be more lenient about dangerous play. Yellow and red cards have been handed out at the lowest levels since 1986.
This purported attempt to speed up play may have tragic consequences. Soccer is already one of the most dangerous sports—more dangerous than you might expect, according to a wide variety of data, especially in terms of concussions.