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Doha: Physiotherapists and medical practitioners were unanimous as they praised the positive impact of the first-ever Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Physiotherapy Course, which drew to a close today at Aspetar in Doha, Qatar.

Ms. Pamela Carhill from Northern Mariana Islands said: “I am so thankful that the AFC decided to pay special attention to physiotherapists. Our education at Aspetar focused on using evidence based practice to design well-rounded rehabilitation and recovery programmess for our players.

“Having the course at the FIFA Centre of Excellence for Sports Medicine & IOC Research Centre - being taught by the clinician involved in clinical research - is an experience that will forever enhance our ability to serve our players”

“I was also very impressed with the international pool of experts gathered here in Aspetar who have certainly added to the quality and depth of each session.”

The first day of the three-day course provided participants with the opportunity to widen their knowledge and skills to function more coherently, particularly in team sports. Participants also delved into the management of on-field injuries and medical emergencies such as concussions, asthma attacks, epilepsy and heat-related illnesses to name but a few.

Mr. Mohd Abdulaziz Al Faouzan from Saudi Arabia said: “When an emergency occurs on the field of play, in extreme cases, sound and swift decision-making can make the vital difference between life and death. Ultimately, early detection of the signs and symptoms plays a huge part in injury management.

“I am very impressed by the extensive range of injury-management resources made available during this course. It is a timely reminder of the importance of this area that we need to continuously keep in mind in our every-day work, as well as be vigilant to apply the knowledge when called upon.”

The remaining two days covered areas such as managing common lower limb football injuries; leveraging on nutrition for recovery; the use of supplements in football and its possible implications on anti-doping; as well as age and gender verification in football. Participants were also presented with an overview of the key psychological considerations and best practices to adopt when returning treated players onto the field of play.

The inaugural AFC Physiotherapy Course was organised with one of the AFC’s long-standing partners, Aspetar, and was developed after the AFC Medical Committee acknowledged the need to enhance the capabilities of the continent’s physiotherapists – all of whom play an invaluable role in modern-day football.

In his closing remarks, Dato’ Dr Gurcharan Singh, Chairman of the AFC Medical Committee, paid tribute to the AFC’s key stakeholders and partners for sharing common aspirations to enhance the capabilities of physiotherapists throughout the continent.

“This course demonstrates the spirit of partnership between F-MARC (FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre), the AFC, Aspetar and Zoll. On behalf of the AFC, I would like to express my sincere and special thanks to Aspetar for the partnership, professional support and cooperation.”