With the support of some of the most recognised international experts in sports medicine, FIFA is launching a new initiative to help disseminate the latest knowledge in sports science and improve the care of players around the globe. The FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine is a free online course, accessible to all and also designed to help clinicians learn how to diagnose and manage common football-related injuries and illnesses.

Each module is written by international experts in their respective fields, sharing written content, podcasts and video examinations as well as providing links to journal articles and other resources. High-profile players also share their experiences of injury and what they learned through their recovery.

“The diploma provides an easily accessible method to disseminate the knowledge that the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC) has gained over the past 22 years. For instance, by raising the awareness of the FIFA11+ programme alone, we may be able to reduce the incidence of football-related injury by up to 50 per cent,” says Dr Mark Fulcher, the New Zealand team doctor and editor-in-chief of the project.

“For me, it is an opportunity to transmit my accumulated ideas and knowledge in football medicine to my colleagues around the word in a very easy and understandable framework,” says FC Barcelona team doctor Ricard Pruna.

“In Germany, we are lucky to have a well-developed sports medicine system with a considerable number of specialised centres. But this is not true in most countries of the world. I would be very happy if we could successfully transfer some useful knowledge to less privileged countries. I am confident that this online tool will be very helpful in this regard. For difficult medical cases, FIFA also offers the opportunity to make contact with and consult international specialists,” adds Prof. Tim Meyer, the team doctor of the current FIFA World Cup™ Champions Germany.

“The FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine is an outstanding resource for all health practitioners involved in the care of football players. It is unique, contemporary, comprehensive and superbly educational and should not be missed,” adds Bert Mandelbaum, team doctor of LA Galaxy and previously of USA men’s national team.

While the diploma is designed to be completed in its entirety, it can be used in a variety of ways. For example, participants might want to learn specifically about a particular area and complete a single lesson or module only. In completing the FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine, clinicians will improve the standard of care they can provide to athletes all over the world.

“F-MARC is proud to offer another milestone project to translate research results and evidence to optimise the care of football players at all levels of the sport and prevent some of the adverse effects of the game, such as injuries, sudden cardiac death and doping. We want to show too that the game can be used as a health-enhancing leisure activity, as proven by the Copenhagen Group under the lead of Prof. Peter Krustrup and Jens Bangsbo,” concludes Prof. Jiří Dvořák, chairman of F-MARC and FIFA Chief Medical Officer.

For further information, please check the diploma webpage.