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Feasibility of precompetition medical assessment at FIFA World Cups for female youth players
  1. Jiri Dvorak1,2,
  2. Katharina Grimm1,
  3. Christian Schmied3,
  4. Astrid Junge2,4
  1. 1Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Zurich, Switzerland
  2. 2Schulthess Klinik, Zurich, Switzerland
  3. 3Cardiovascular Centre, University Hospital Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland
  4. 4FIFA - Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC), Zürich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Astrid Junge, FIFA - Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC), Lengghalde 2, Zürich, Switzerland; astrid.junge{at}


Background Although most experts agree that preparticipation screening is important to prevent sudden cardiac death in sport, only a few reports have been published on the feasibility of its practical implementation.

Methods The football associations participating in the U-17 and U-20 Women's World Cups 2010 were asked to perform a standardised precompetition medical assessment (PCMA) of their players (in total 672).

Results Compliance with the requirement for performing the PCMA was high among all teams, particularly from African, Asian and Central/South American countries. No relevant abnormal findings in personal history and clinical cardiological examination were reported. Athletic ECG patterns were frequent, but very few findings were considered to require further investigation. All players were declared as eligible to play.

Conclusions Based on the demonstrated feasibility of performing a comprehensive PCMA in elite female youth players, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Executive Committee decided to make the PCMA a compulsory requirement for all FIFA competitions.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval was obtained from Kantonale Ethik-Kommission Zurich, Schweiz.

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

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