Article Text


Risk management: FIFA's approach for protecting the health of football players
  1. Colin W Fuller,
  2. Astrid Junge,
  3. Jiri Dvorak
  1. FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre, Zurich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Colin Fuller, FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre, FIFA-Strasse 20, PO Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland; colin.fuller{at}


Background Sport and exercise have long-term health benefits, but there is also a risk that participants will sustain injuries and/or ill health from these activities. For this reason, international sports governing bodies have a responsibility to identify the risks that exist within their sport and to provide guidance to participants and other stakeholders on how these risks can be controlled within acceptable levels.

Purpose To demonstrate how Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), as football's governing body, uses a risk management framework to identify, quantify, mitigate and communicate the risks of injury and ill health in football for men, women and children in all environments.

Method All the research papers published by FIFA's Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC) during the period 1994 to 2011 were reviewed and categorised according to an established sport-related risk management framework.

Conclusions F-MARC investigated and mitigated 17 areas of risk to footballers' health in a coherent and consistent approach through the process of risk management.

This paper is freely available online under the BMJ Journals unlocked scheme, see

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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