Scotland should show leadership and 're-invent' football by eliminating headers from the game, an MSP has suggested.

Labour's Michael Marra received cross-party support for today's member's debate which called for a dedicated working group to be set up to investigate further the game's now proven dementia risk.

The MSP also urged the government to designate football-linked dementia as an industrial injury, entitling former players to financial support.

While heading is now banned for the under-12s, Mr Mara said much more needed to be done.

He said: "The wise old men of Mount Florida created the modern game by playing the ball on the ground - they passed it.

"Had God intended football to be played in the air he would have put grass in the clouds.

"Now, may be the moment for Scotland to re-invent the game again.

"This is undoubtedly, indisputably an industrial injury. I hope the Scottish Government recognises this and gives families the support they deserve."

Mr Marra also called for more research into the safety of the game for female footballers.

Maree Todd, Minister for Sport said the government was "fully behind" efforts to make football safer.

Ground-breaking research led by Consultant Neuropathologist, Professor Willie Stewart, found footballers were three times more likely to suffer neurodegenerative diseases and a had a five-fold risk of Alzheimer’s.

The University of Glasgow study later established that defenders - who head the ball most frequently -  had a five-fold risk of dementia while goalkeepers had the same risk as the average person. The risk was lowest in forwards (2.79).

Prof Stewart has likened the effect to a boxer being repeatedly punched on the head. He has urged FIFA  to consider eliminating headers from the sport and suggested footballs should be sold with a health warning.

Last month, Scotland legend Denis Law became the latest ex-footballer to reveal his dementia diagnosis and said he was certain that his professional career had caused his illness. 

A campaign endorsing the aims of Mr Marra's member's bill was launched on Sunday and is supported by the Professional Football Association (PFA) and former Celtic player Chris Sutton, whose father - also a footballer - died of dementia.

Mr Marra said the footballer estimates he may have headed the ball around 70,000 times during his career.

FIFA has said "further mitigations" may be necessary to protect players in non goalkeeping positions.