The 7th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Medical Conference began at Westin Doha Saturday with the participation of a large number of experts in sports medicine.
Organised by AFC, Aspetar - Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital and Qatar Football Association (QFA), the opening ceremony was attended by several dignitaries, including Mohamed Khalifa al-Suwaidi, director-general, Aspetar; Mansour Mohamed al-Ansari, secretary general, QFA; Dr Abdualaziz Jaham al-Kuwari, CEO of Aspetar; Windsor John, AFC general secretary; Hani Taleb Ballan, executive committee member, QFA, and CEO of Qatar Stars League; and Dr Gurcharan Singh, chairperson, AFC Medical Committee, among others.
Al-Suwaidi said Aspetar is playing an active role in supporting football medicine expertise. He explained: “Aspetar has worked closely with the AFC with the intent of raising the bar from a global perspective, to illustrate the importance of research, football medicine expertise and practices that will help support all football clubs to perform at the highest level. We hope that the expertise shared over these few days will even be the playing field so that all participants can learn and apply evidence-based football medicine practices and research that the many distinguished scheduled speakers present.”
Themed 'Football and Sports Medicine – Celebrating Diversity', the conference aims to empower participants to manage numerous football-related medical situations.
John said: “The AFC, through its Vision and Mission, has put the success of our players and teams, at the heart of all our efforts and the development of sports science and medicine and the well-being of our players are crucial to the success of Asian football. In recent times, we have seen greater focus placed on mental health and the use of big data and technology in strengthening the decision-making process. In essence, the latest trends further underline the need to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach in our efforts to ensure the best possible outcomes for our teams and players.”
The event brings together close to 120 renowned sports medicine and science professionals from the AFC, FIFA, UEFA, CONMEBOL, Confederation of African Football, International Olympic Committee and Aspetar to share their knowledge on 150 of the latest scientific medical advances with physicians, allied healthcare practitioners, nurses and pharmacists, among others.
“This conference is an impactful and valuable event from the AFC. Holding this conference shows Qatar’s commitment to the sports people in making available the best and latest practice in sports medicine,” noted al-Ansari from QFA.
More than 600 delegates will learn more about sports science and medicine’s latest challenges, best practices and cutting-edge developments via keynote addresses, lectures, symposia, poster presentations and clinical workshops.
“It is a great honour to host this conference for the first time in Qatar and continue to work for the development of football in the country. We are committed to provide the latest research, expertise and practices so that the footballers can perform their best. We believe that the speakers and experts in the conference will share their expertise and knowledge to help the participants to work for the realisation of the full potential of the players,” said al-Kuwari in his welcome address.
The conference, endorsed by the United Kingdom’s 'British Journal of Sports Medicine' for the first time, will also highlight the return of football after the Covid-19 pandemic and the game’s progress in terms of diversity and inclusion.
The 3rd AFC Medical Awards will be held in conjunction with the conference proper tomorrow to celebrate the efforts and contributions of medical professionals in pushing the game forward.
Dignitaries at the opening ceremony. PICTURE: Thajudheen
A view of the participants. PICTURE: Thajudheen