Medical staff start preparation for Russia 2018

As Russia prepares to host the FIFA World Cup™ and FIFA Confederations Cup, one of the key aspects of the preparations is to ensure the highest standard of medical services, including first aid and emergency support to participating teams, the FIFA delegation, guests and spectators during the competitions. The first FIFA workshop with the LOC Venue Medical Officers (VMOs) and Doping Control Officers (DCOs) who will be involved during the tournament at their respective venues took place in Moscow on 26-27 May under the leadership of FIFA's Chief Medical Officer Prof. Jiří Dvořák.

On the first day, representatives of all 11 Host Cities presented their structure and organisation in detail and provided updates on the current status of their preparations. The workshop participants were aware of the FIFA World Cup Medical Services and Doping Control Handbook.

“The presentations of the available medical facilities and services for the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup were impressive and showed a high quality in terms of the institutions and the professionalism of the venue medical offices. From a medical perspective, Russia is ready to host the competitions,” said Prof. Dvořák, who has been FIFA’s Chief Medical Officer for the past six World Cups.

The first step of the medical implementation will be next year, during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, which will serve as a huge platform not only for the four cities involved in the tournament but also for the seven other cities, giving them a unique opportunity to observe the implementation of all required medical guidelines for the tournament.

“During the workshop, our team of VMOs finally came together. As there are certain health standards in Russia, it was important to learn about international standards from our FIFA and LOC colleagues. All aspects were thoroughly demonstrated during the practical part. It is important that we all work together on this. All of the tasks that were set by the organisers of the workshop must now be implemented for the upcoming tournaments,” noted Anton Poddubnyi, the VMO from Ekaterinburg.

On the second day, a special emergency football course was held by Prof. Efraim Kramer for all Venue Medical Officers at Spartak Stadium. During this event, several emergency situations were simulated so that participants could perform first aid on the pitch. Another objective of the course was to enable all of the information presented to be transferred to all local medical teams of the 12 venues of the FIFA World Cup™.

“The commitment shown by the VMOs during the practical workshop on the pitch when managing emergency situations such as sudden cardiac arrest was overwhelmingly positive and expressed their motivation and willingness to get involved,” concluded Prof. Efraim Kramer.

In the closing session, FIFA presented the medical legacy of the World Cup to the VMOs, focusing on the improvement of education in football medicine and instructing all involved medical professionals to complete the FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine. Moreover, FIFA presented the injury prevention programme "FIFA 11+" and the “FIFA 11 for Health” programme to all participants.