chapter  12
Prevention of contact and non-contact injuries in football/soccer
20 years of F-MARC
WithMario Bizzini
Pages 7

Soccer (football) is the most popular sport worldwide, with an estimated 300 million players and even more individuals involved at any levels. Playing soccer is also associated with a certain risk of injury. Injury prevention is one important task of the Medical Committee of the Federation Internationale de Football Association. From a medical perspective: with every injury the risk for a subsequent injury rises, and severe injuries may increase the risk of osteoarthritis in the long term. The percentage of non-contact injuries ranges from 26–59 percent. Overuse injuries account for 9–34 percent of all injuries, but probably these numbers underestimated the real prevalence, example due to methodological problems with the injury definitions used in many studies. Non-contact injuries in soccer can be prevented by 20 to 50 percent with specific injury prevention programs, whereas contact injuries may be prevented by enhanced fair play and stricter refereeing.