UEFA seeks research into risk of youths heading a ball

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, top, goes for a header during the La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Sevilla at the Santiago Bern

Colorado Rapids midfielder Micheal Azira, right, heads the ball next to Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger during the first

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has asked for research proposals into the effects of young players heading the ball.

UEFA says a current lack of data "makes it hard to assess the true risk of playing football in this section of the population."

The U.S. Soccer Federation has advised its clubs to stop players aged up to 11 heading the ball, and limit how often 11 to 13-year-olds head balls each week.

The guidelines came after settlement of a concussion lawsuit filed by parents and players in a San Francisco court.

The UEFA medical committee project targets "the burden of headers" in practice and matches across European youth soccer.

It aims to "determine whether heading has any effect on the structure and function of youth players' brains."

UEFA wants proposals by the end of June.