FIFA Women's World Cup 2011: Pre-Competition Medical Assessment of female referees and assistant referees
- 1Cardiology Department, University Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
- 2Spinal cord injury center, University Hospital Balgrist, Zürich, Switzerland
- 3FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC) and Schulthess Clinic, Zürich, Switzerland
- 4Neurology Department, University Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
- 5Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and Schulthess Clinic, Zürich, Switzerland
- Correspondence to Dr Dagmar I Keller, Cardiology Department, University Hospital Zuerich, Raemistrasse 100, 8091 Zürich, Switzerland;
- Received 4 June 2012
- Revised 15 August 2012
- Accepted 17 August 2012
- Published Online First 12 September 2012
Background Precompetition screening was implemented for male referees during the 2010 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Word Cup. In contrast, female football referees have been neglected in this respect although they experience similar physical work loads compared to male referees.
Methods The standardised football-specific Pre-Competition Medical Assessment (PCMA) was performed in 51 referees and assistant referees selected for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Results Family history for sudden cardiac death (SCD) was positive in four referees (7.8%), but cardiac examinations did not reveal any pathological findings. Training-unrelated ECG changes were identified in three referees (5.9%), all without correlates in echocardiography or clinical examination. Most common echocardiography findings (66.6%, n=34) were asymptomatic tricuspid and mitral regurgitations.
Conclusions During the present screening, no elite female referee was identified being at risk for SCD, and no referee had to be excluded from participating in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
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