FROM OUR EDITOR
The FIFA World CupTM is arriving in Qatar in just under one year’s time. The question that I am asked most often is “Is everyone involved in the medical coverage of this largest international football event, going to be ready?” My usual response is “Yes, we are not only going to be ready, but I am sure that we are going to provide - in collaboration with the FIFA medical department - new solutions and advancements in the ongoing evolution of sports medicine in football!”
My optimism is based on our huge experience of covering an important number of major international sports events over the past 10 years (2014 FINA World Swimming Championships, 2015 IHF World Men's Handball Championship, 2016 UCI Road World Championships – Men's road race, 2019 World Athletics Championships…), including nearly 50 international sporting tournaments each year.
In Qatar, we have developed a unique model of collaboration between Aspetar (a highly specialised hospital in Sports Medicine, with a multidisciplinary approach) and Hamad Medical Corporation (a tertiary referral organisation with more than 20,000 employees). This has been supported by the Supreme Council of Health. Working together over the past 10 years, we have created a philosophy of “one medical team” - across institutions, specialisations and hierarchies that has been critical for us. This winning collaboration and mutual respect is our ‘Secret for Success’. I would like to add that Dr. Khalifa Al-Kuwari, former DG of Aspetar, and one of the founders of the Aspetar Sports Medicine journal, is the chairman of the Medical Commission of the Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy, responsible for delivering the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM.
In 2009, Aspetar was officially accredited as a FIFA Centre of Excellence. Throughout these 12 years, our clinical and scientific collaboration has been outstanding. Our staff have participated in multiple projects in collaboration with the FIFA Medical Committee. Some of these results are highlighted in these excellent papers published in the Aspetar Sports Medicine Journal, as well as in the two Targeted Topics on Sports Medicine in Football.
With the FIFA World CupTM arriving in Qatar, I want to take this opportunity to review some of the biggest issues that the football medicine community has faced over the past few years. I cannot think of better sports medicine experts to take on these challenging Hot Topics in Sports Medicine in Football, than our three guest editors. Andrew Massey, MD is an ex-professional football player, former head of Medical Services and Team Doctor at FC Liverpool, and the current Medical Director of FIFA. Celeste Geertsema, MD is an Associate Editor of the Aspetar Sports Medicine Journal, the first woman VMO at the men’s FIFA World CupTM in Russia 2018 and currently Medical Operations Manager for Medical Affairs in the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, preparing for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM. Pieter D’Hooghe MD, PhD, is an Associate Editor of Aspetar Sports Medicine Journal, the current Chief Medical Officer of Aspetar, and an orthopaedic surgeon who, over the past 5 years, has published an outstanding number of scientific papers and book chapters on the treatment and prevention of sports injuries in football.
In addition to all these excellent papers, I would strongly recommend to you, our reader, to read the inspiring life story of the woman’s football star, Nadia Nadim. Football has changed her life, giving her a new opportunity and a new dream. Football is indeed more than just a game!
Our Guest Editors have done a great job - they have assembled a team of authors who offer specialist’s insights on each of the hot topics. I thank all of them for their valuable contribution to this wonderful issue. I hope you enjoy reading it.
See you soon in Qatar!
Nebojsa Popovic MD PhD
Header image by Arend Kuester (Cropped)