Fédération Internationale de Football Association
FIFA-Strasse 20 - P.O. Box - 8044 Zurich - Switzerland
Tel: +41-(0)43-222 7777 - Fax: +41-(0)43.222 7878
Building on the success of the first FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence opened at the Schulthess Clinic in Zurich in May 2005, FIFA has since accredited five further official medical centres with a view to ensuring that players on all continents know where to go for expert care in football medical care, such as the prevention of injuries, early detection of risk factors for sudden cardiac death, as well as state-of-the-art diagnosis and therapy services.
Starting with the Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group in Santa Monica, USA, on 10 December 2007 and the St Marianna University School of Medicine in Kawasaki, Japan, on 14 December 2007, further inaugurations will follow in early 2008 with the adidas Sports Medicine Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, the Centre for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the Orthocentre of the Technical University, Munich.
All accredited institutions have been carefully selected based on a comprehensive application process to prove their clinical, educational and research expertise, their practical involvement in the care of teams and their active commitment to preventing injuries.
"FIFA is committed to protecting and improving the health of football players worldwide," says Michel D'Hooghe, MD, chairman of the FIFA Sports Medical Committee. "We consider effective prevention and accurate diagnosis as top priorities and make a strong commitment by offering the football community Centres of Excellence. What is more, these centres will also be generally open to every player looking for therapy or a second opinion on a specific illness or injury."
"Over the last twelve years, F-MARC has accumulated a considerable body of knowledge through our medical research programme", explained Professor Jiri Dvorak, FIFA's Chief Medical Officer and chairman of the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC). "Now we have to ensure that this knowledge is practically implemented so that players can fully benefit from state-of-the-art prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. In addition, we want to educate and train the next generation of clinical specialists and scientists committed to football medicine."
F-MARC, established in 1994, has devised the "The 11" programme for the prevention of injuries that is currently being successfully implemented in several countries around the world. Further information on this programme and on the initiative with the FIFA Medical Centres of Excellence is available on FIFA.com.