Table 2

Risk mitigation: strategies developed by FIFA

Risk factorPrevention (P) and therapeutic (T) risk mitigation action
Intrinsic factors
Participant-related
Age determinationDeveloped MRI examination technique for assessing the age of players taking part in FIFA U-17 tournaments (P)50
Drugs/medicationPrepared a guidance document on doping in football (P)51
Defined drug-testing procedures and publication of doping results in football (P)52
Established a network of F-MARC Doping Control Officers and doping control workshops for physicians (P)52
ConcussionPrepared consensus statements on diagnosis, treatment and return-to-play criteria for concussion in sport (T)5355
Functional rehabilitationProposed technique for quantifying functional rehabilitation from injury (T)56
GenderPrepared a guidance document on health and fitness for female players (P)57
Medical historyDeveloped and implemented a precompetition medical assessment protocol for professional players (P)58
Reviewed the best practice procedures for the management of on-field sudden cardiac arrest (T)59
Physical conditionDeveloped, implemented and evaluated an injury prevention educational programme for youth players (P)60
Developed, implemented and evaluated the ‘11+’ injury prevention programme for players (P)61
Developed, implemented and evaluated an ACL injury prevention programme for female players (P)62
Psycho-socialContinued promotion of the FIFA ‘fair play’ campaign to encourage all aspects of fair play and respect for others (P)63
TacklingRecommended to IFAB that tackling from behind should be a red card offence in 1998 (P)
Recommended to IFAB that the use of the elbow to the head when tackling should be a red card offence in 2006 (P)
Extrinsic factors
Facility-related
Medical facilitiesEstablished FIFA Medical Centres of Excellence to provide expert medical support for players in 2005 (T)
Playing surfaceDeveloped the ‘FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf’ to ensure that the risk of injury on artificial turf pitches is no greater than on natural grass surfaces (P)64
Stadium designDeveloped design criteria for football stadiums that took into account player safety (P)65
Specified safe design of goalposts in the Laws of the Game (P)66
Equipment-related
FootballsDeveloped the ‘FIFA International Matchball Standard’ to ensure that footballs reach and maintain standards for parameters such as weight, water absorption and pressure (P)67
Environment-related
AltitudePrepared a consensus statement on playing football at altitude (P)68
Being tackledRecommended to IFAB that tackling from behind should be a red card offence in 1998 (P)
Recommended to IFAB that the use of the elbow to the head when tackling should be a red card offence in 2006 (P)
Ramadan/nutritionPrepared a guidance document on nutrition for footballers (P)69
TemperaturePrepared a position statement on playing football in hot environments (P)70
  • ACL, anterior cruciate ligament; FIFA, Fédération Internationale de Football Association; F-MARC, FIFA's Medical Assessment and Research Centre; IFAB International Football Association Board.