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Eimrates Stadium Arsenal 640

FIFPro will host a symposium – The Health Challenges in Professional Football - at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium on Wednesday October 16th to mark the launch of a ground-breaking study into the health of professional players.

The event will look at key medical issues which the study will focus on such as concussion, mental health and career transition.

Speakers will include doctors from The Football Association, Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers. Marco van Basten, who enjoyed an illustrious career as a player with Ajax, AC Milan and the Dutch national team, will also address the audience.

FIFPro’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vincent Gouttebarge will make a presentation about the study, which will be the most comprehensive of its kind in professional football.

Researchers from among others FIFPro and Amsterdam University Medical Centres will gather epidemiological information over at least 10 years from dozens of professional footballers during and after their careers.

The researchers will track neurocognitive decline and cartilage degeneration, as well as mental and cardiovascular health.

By identifying significant changes in the health of players in the longitudinal study, the research will ultimately help medical professionals to develop appropriate preventive and curative measures for future generations of players.

The project is being seed-funded by The Drake Foundation, which seeks to improve the welfare of athletes through scientific research.

The following will be among the speakers at the symposium:
Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad, Queens Park Rangers Football Club
Professor Thor Einar Andersen, Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre
Marco van Basten, three-time Ballon d’Or winner
Dr. Charlotte Cowie, English Football Association
Dr. Gary O’Driscoll, Arsenal Football Club
Professor Gino Kerkhoffs, Amsterdam University Medical Centers

Please click here for more information about the conference programme and its speakers.


The registration for the conference is open until 30th of September 2019. Only a limited number of places is available. The fee to attend the conference is £20 (or 25 euros) which must be paid by bank transfer within 14 days of registering. The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK has awarded the conference with 4.5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. If you are a medical professional who would like to attend the symposium, please complete the registration form.

More information

If you are interested in finding out more information about the study, please send an email.