An independent panel of concussion experts formed by the Football Association will meet for the first time in May.

The panel of eight medical professionals will advise the FA on what can be done to make the game safer.

Head injuries have been under greater scrutiny since Hugo Lloris refused to be substituted following a clash with Romelu Lukaku in 2013, with new rules introduced at the start of the current Barclays Premier League season stating a player suffering a head injury must leave the pitch and only be allowed to return if cleared by a club doctor.

Recently, the Jeff Astle Foundation has been raising awareness of the danger of long-term head injuries from playing football, with former West Brom player Astle - best known for his heading prowess - having died in 2002 of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

This weekend saw West Brom wear retro kits against Leicester on Saturday as the foundation was officially launched on Jeff Astle Day at the Hawthorns.

The FA's head of performance services Dave Reddin believes the panel will help take safety in the sport to the next level.

"The role of the expert panel is to monitor and advise the FA and other football bodies on the appropriate guidelines for all levels of the game," he told

"We have seen an improvement in guidance and communication in this area of sports medicine but we are conscious there is potentially much more to do.

"The group will also be asked to help advise on how football's world governing body should examine and research any long-term effects on the brain through head injury or repeated concussion episodes.

"I genuinely believe we now have the right people on board to be able to provide the right level of insight for such an important issue."

Reddin, the FA's head of medical services Dr Ian Beasley and representatives of the Premier League, Football League and Professional Footballers' Association will all observe the panel.