Held at Dubai’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, the second Sports Medicine Symposium began on 21 December. Taking the impact of heat and humidity in sport as its theme, the event, which is being organised by the United Arab Emirates Football Association (UAEFA) in collaboration with the FIFA Medical Committee and the support of Al Garhoud Hospital, has brought together leading sports doctors, international experts and medical and administrative staff from the UAE’s clubs and national team.
“We are delighted to be here to discuss issues that are crucial to the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region, where temperatures and humidity are at their highest during the summer and can cause injury to sportsmen and women, while also having a negative impact on games,” commented UAEFA President Yousuf Yaqoob Al Serkal, addressing an audience of nearly 250 participants and the assembled media.
*Opening ceremony *The various speakers made a series of recommendations, including the staging of games after sundown and the introduction of frequent water breaks during matches. “We are anxious to see these recommendations approved,” said UAE Medical Committee Chairman Dr. Mustafa Al Hashemi.
Also gracing the event was FIFA Executive Committee member and FIFA Medical Committee and F-MARC President Dr. Michel D’Hooghe, who officially opened FIFA’s Dubai Centre of Medical Excellence and presented the Centre’s certification to His Excellence Sami Alqemzi, the chairman of Garhoud Hospital and of the board of 2015 GCC Champions League winners Al Shabab.
The club is the second in the world after Barcelona to equip itself with FIFA-approved medical services, prompting UAEFA President Al Serkal to comment: “We are proud to receive this distinction from FIFA. It is a significant achievement for our country’s football.”