SPORTS can no longer be left to "mark their own homework" on concussion, a parliamentary inquiry has concluded.

The report from the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) committee of MPs called for the Government to oversee the introduction of a coherent UK-wide minimum concussion protocol within the next year, mirroring the approach taken in Scotland.

It also called for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to be more closely involved in sport, with committee chair Julian Knight accusing it of a "dereliction of duty".

The report recommended HSE works with sports organisations to establish a national framework for the reporting of sports injuries by July 2022.

Within a year of that, all sports should be required to report any event that might lead to an acquired brain injury, the report said.

The report also accused the football authorities of taking too long to engage with the issue. It stated that the coroner's verdict on former West Brom and England striker Jeff Astle 20 years ago should have led to the Football Association taking a "stronger, sustained interest" in the issue.

The players' union, the Professional Footballers' Association, should also have "publicly hounded" the FA over the issue, the report said.

On how concussion is handled in professional sports like football and rugby, the report added: "One of the biggest problems is the apparent lack of clarity on who is responsible for driving change. Change has not happened quickly enough and while the science currently available to us describes the problem it does not provide solutions."

The DCMS committee made these further key recommendations:

- UK Sport should use its governance role as an elite sports funding body to ensure the sports it funds are raising awareness of concussion protocols and implementing protocols effectively.

- UK Sport should pay for a medical officer to attend major sporting events to ensure protocols are applied and have the power to prevent athletes from competing if deemed at risk.