Forming part of the Mexican city of Pachuca’s University of Football and Sports Sciences complex, the High-Altitude Medical Centre of Excellence (CEMA) was accredited as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence on Wednesday 11 May.

Presided over by Jose Francisco Olvera, the governor of the state of Hidalgo, the event was attended by FIFA Medical Committee Chairman Dr Michel D’Hooghe and FIFA Chief Medical Officer Professor Dr Jiri Dvorak. Also present were Grupo Pachuca representatives Jesus Martinez, Dr Gabriela Murguia Canovas and Professor Andres Fassi, as well as Justino Compean and Decio de Maria of the Mexican Football Association (FMF), and a number of state and federal dignitaries.

Prior to the accreditation ceremony, the attendees toured the CEMA facilities. Governor Olvera praised the work of Grupo Pachuca and Martinez, the president of the Mexican first division club, who go by the nickname of Los Tuzos (The Gophers).

“This is an example of the entrepreneurial spirit that Hidalgo needs, with the creation of an innovative concept in football, one that goes beyond the boundaries of sport,” said Olvera. For his part, FMF President De Maria highlighted the work and commitment of Dr Murguia Canovas, who is the president of the CEMA, praising her for “developing projects that promote sport and health”.  

Dvorak then presented the CEMA with a certificate confirming its accreditation as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence. FIFA’s medical chief said he was very impressed by the first-rate facilities that Grupo Pachuca now has at its disposal at the centre. He added that in taking steps to prevent its players from suffering injuries, the Mexican club now had something in common with Barcelona. “You can well expect a collaboration project or two in the future,” continued Dvorak. 

D’Hooghe then spoke of his delight that investments are being made in order to create centres of medical excellence such as the CEMA. “We need them to oversee the well-being of the near 300 million people who play football around the world,” he said. “These clinics will ensure that Mexican sportspeople get the treatment they need. Although this is Mexico’s first FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence, Pachuca are the first Mexican football club to boast a facility of this standard.”

Grupo Pachuca head Martinez Patino brought the ceremony to an end by underlining his commitment to sports professionals, and also setting out some of the new projects that his group is looking to roll out in the near future at the complex, which will go by the name of “El Mundo Tuzo”.

“All the teams that make up Grupo Pachuca are getting results out on the pitch,” commented the club’s president, who also underscored their determination to remain at the forefront in the prevention of injuries and the provision of medical care to players at state-of-the-art facilities.