Conference took place over two days in Boston, United States
FIFA is aiming to build a worldwide football medicine community
Female player health was among the key topics discussed
The FIFA Medical Conference brought together medical professionals from around the world in a landmark gathering, giving them a chance to share knowledge and exchange ideas as part of FIFA’s efforts to make football medicine accessible to all Member Associations. The two-day conference in Boston, United States, focused on the latest scientific research and medical advancements throughout football and FIFA’s role in promoting the health of players at all levels. In doing so, it emphasised the importance that FIFA attaches to player welfare.
“Within FIFA Medical, our strategic mission is to improve player health through setting standards in clinical care and governance, and we want those standards to be as high as possible. We want to build a worldwide football medicine community, and looking around the room, I can see how represented the world is,” said Dr Andrew Massey, FIFA Director of Medical. “We want to be able to facilitate and perform impactful research. And research is only useful if we learn something from it, and that’s what this conference is all about; learning from others, picking up things from others, and trying to share best knowledge.” “We want to promote equity and diversity in accessing football medicine knowledge. And…seeing nearly 50% representation of women in the room, I think is probably the biggest legacy that this conference is going to be able to provide everybody.”
Topics discussed included FIFA’s commitment to player welfare and the need to promote a debate based on scientific evidence; female player health and performance; and FIFA’s comprehensive framework of medical services and research aimed at key medical topics.
Dr Massey emphasised that health was a key to enjoying football at any level. “We play football for enjoyment, for competition and for health,” he said. “Enjoying it can only be done so if it’s in a safe manner, a safe environment. Competition only works when we put the players in a position that they can perform at their optimal.” He added: “(This conference) draws together people who work throughout the football medicine community, spanning a range of different geographical, racial, cultural and professional backgrounds, for the common purpose of developing football medicine and improving the health and wellbeing of the millions of worldwide participants of the game……What we have in the room are 211 amazing sets of voices, 1 collaborative vision.”