Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana played host on Sunday 23 March to a training session for the teams forming part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Organising Committee’s Medical Services, who will be providing treatment to injured players on the pitch during the upcoming tournament.

Also in attendance were Luis Fernando Correia, the general coordinator of the LOC’s Medical Services, and Michael Simoni, medical services coordinator in Rio de Janeiro.

The day began with a classroom-based theory session followed by practical training out on the pitch, where teams were put through their paces in a series of procedures, including those they will be required to perform while on-call by the subs’ bench.

Comprising of a doctor and three medics, each team will be responsible for the provision of treatment in one half of the pitch.

“They each have specific functions to perform whenever they are called upon," Correia said. "They almost have to be choreographed. The system is the same for all FIFA competitions. We used it at the Confederations Cup and we’ll be using it again at the World Cup.”

As part of their training, teams also got to grips with the FIFA Medical Emergency Bag (FMEB). Introduced in 2013 and used by all FIFA’s 209 member associations, the bag contains an automated external defibrillator (AED). The device can immediately diagnose suspected heart problems and initiates defibrillation in the event of heart-rate abnormalities. The bag also includes a medical emergency kit.

“Defibrillators are used to treat cardiac arrests and can get the heart beating normally again,” explained Correia.

Though firm dates have yet to be set, the training programme will also be rolled out in the other 11 Host Cities.