Posted on June 19, 2016

The Asian Football Confederation AFC and ASPETAR have today resolved to close a knowledge gap in promoting the most popular game on the continent. Club representatives have met with ASPETAR researchers to launch a pilot study that will systematically investigate injuries and illnesses during the final rounds of the 2016 AFC Champions League. “ASPETAR is committed to taking our services as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence for the region and the Asian continent to the next level”, says Dr Mohamed Ghaith-Alkuwari, Director General of ASPETAR.

“This pioneering collaborative initiative with the AFC Medical Committee is a critical step in protecting Asia’s player potential.” Research shows that injuries differ significantly between different regions in the world. But: “While there is abundant information on European players, for example the UEFA Champions League study, we know little about injuries in Asian players”, highlights Dato Dr Gurcharan Singh, Chairman of the AFC Medical Committee. “This study will finally fill this void and enable us to focus our prevention efforts.”

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“Establishing such surveillance is a milestone on our way towards effective prevention in Asian football”, explains Dr Scott Gillogly, ASPETAR Chief Medical Officer. “Once we understand what injuries and illnesses occur, can we implement targeted measures to prevent them.” Further, understanding which injuries occur most often, or which injuries keep players off the pitch longest, will guide decisions where to concentrate limited resources.

The pilot during this year’s AFC Champions League will be essential to test the feasibility and needed adjustments. If successful, further stakeholders within the football family will be invited to join the AFC and ASPETAR in the next step: the roll-out to all clubs in the coming seasons of the League.

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