In the presentation of a special accreditation certificate by FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, the Acıbadem Fulya Sports Medicine Centre became Turkey’s first approved centre of excellence on Monday 25 March 2013.
The ceremony was also attended by UEFA Vice President and FIFA Board Member Senes Erzik, FIFA Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jiri Dvorak as well as many from the sporting world..
In a speech made during the accreditation ceremony, which was followed with great interest by many in the press, Mehmet Ali Aydınlar, the Group Chairman of Acıbadem Healthcare indicated that the centre provided an integrated health services model with its 16 hospitals, 12 medical centres, university its mobile health services.
He said: “Our realistic, fast and complementary approach is rapidly being developed in the medical field in which we operate. We are all proud and honoured that the services which we developed in the field of sports medicine have been accredited by FIFA. This was our primary goal just three years ago when with our esteemed professors we all sat down at a table and decided to establish this centre. We are happy to have been able to have reached this goal in a short time.”
Prof. Omer Taser, a leading light of the centre, described how it was staffed by medical and surgical experts of international acclaim in sports medicine. and how the team worked in multi-disciplinary harmony providing athletes from different fields with a full range of services, from performance evaluations to post-injury rehabilitation - all aided by state of the art technology.
Mr. Erzik indicated that for many years Turkey had felt the need for an investment in sports medicine. “When professional athletes were injured 15-20 years ago, they had to be sent to centres in Germany, the USA or Switzerland. We have been desperate for a centre such as this in Turkey so that we can look after our athletes properly. This is a dream come true. I am indeed fortunate and I’d like to thank Mehmet Ali Aydınlar, the physicians and FIFA officials for their efforts in making this day possible.”
Responding to the comments, Prof Dr Jiri Dvorak said that Turkey’s hosting of the FIFA U-20 World Cup would provide a further stimulus for the country. “We will be meeting with officials from the education and health ministries in Turkey,” he said. “Taking this opportunity we would like to launch our education 11 for Health programme here in 2013/2014.”