FIFA plans regional sports medical centres in Asia

The world football body FIFA is planning to set up regional medical centres in Asia to help players get pre-competition assessments and medical care. “We are aiming to establish FIFA Regional Medical Centres for state-of-the-art medical care and to disseminate advancements in the sports medicine field. Though, it is not possible to build hospitals, we will give accreditation to institutions who have the best facilities and experience in dealing with sports injuries,” the Head of FIFA’s Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC), Dr Jiri Dvorak, told AFCMedia on the sidelines of the FIFA Futuro III Football Medicine Course and Doping Control Workshop in Kuala Lumpur.

“Asia is a huge continent and our final aim is to have centres in each country but to begin with we want to start with a few centres in bigger nations. Korea Republic, Japan and a few more countries have already expressed their interest,” he said.

Malaysia’s Deputy Health Minister Dato Dr Haji Abdul Latif B. Ahmad expressed his desire to have a FIFA Regional Medical Centre in Malaysia and Football Association of Malaysia General Secretary Dr Ibrahim Saad said a centre would create better awareness of sports medicine. “The professional players here consider the role of sports medicine as very minor and this still has low priority for them. If we get the centre, it will give a new outlook and would help us ward off the frightening injuries to our young players,” he said.