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Dr. Bhattacharya: AIFF Course will help create a pool of doctors in Asia

Dr. Manabendra Bhattacharya

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) organised FIFA-AFC Football Medicine Regional Course which kicks-off on Monday (January 14, 2013) in New Delhi will be the first of its kind to take place in India.

As doctors from all over the world have started to land in the capital, AIFF’s Chief Medical Consultant Dr. Manabendra Bhattacharya spoke to AIFF Media explaining the significance of the initiative, the importance of medicine in modern day football, in our daily lives and much more.


What is the significance of the Conference?
It will help create a pool of doctors in Asia who have a good orientation in football medicine. Doctors from 12 countries will be attending the meet along with 11 doctors from India. Generally the quota stays two doctors per country but I have requested to increase the number for India as we are the hosts. This will surely help create a bigger pool.

Educate us as to who will be coming for the Conference.
Professor Jiří Dvořák, FIFA Chief Medical Officer will be one of the Lecturers while Dato Gurcharan Singh of Malaysia (Chairman, Medical Department, AFC), Prof. Brun Shane Perry of Australia (associated with AFC), Dr. Patrick Yung of Hong Kong (associated with AFC) are some of the other lecturers. Among the 11 doctors from India, five are from Sports Authority of India.

How will this benefit India?
People who work with sports medicine will be updated. The orientation, which is very important, will also be done. Staying away from injuries stay the key to any player’s success and for that proper treatment and fitness regime needs to be maintained. You need well equipped doctors with proper orientation for that to happen.
This Course will help a great deal in preparing doctors. All the Indian participants have done their sports medicine diploma. So this course will enhance their education and bring in more practicality.

What is the importance of sports medicine in modern day sport?
First and foremost, sports medicine helps us to prevent injuries and keep it drug free. Few know that FIFA have developed a warm-up Programme called the ‘11-class’ to prevent injuries. It is being implemented globally.
“11+ – a complete warm-up to prevent injuries,” is very significant indeed. “11+” is a complete warm-up to be performed prior to every training session. You should be at least 14 years of age to start “11+”. FIFA is focusing on schools to start this Programme. To start with, in Mauritius they plan to bring every school under this Programme.
There is also Pre Competition Medical Assessment (PCMA) which reduces 50-60 percent injuries. It is generally done at the beginning of a camp before a competition.

Do you think people are ignorant about the impact of sports medicine?
In India, people including those who are associated with sports stay ignorant of the same. I believe proper coverage of this course will help enhance their knowledge about the relevance of sports medicine in modern day. In future, I believe this pool of 11 doctors from India can be referred to whenever in need. But at the outset, people need to know that sports medicine exists! This Course can bridge that gap.
Awareness stays the most essential part. I-League sides spend crores to build a team but don’t have a doctor. They think a physio is enough. I’m not asking them to take the doctor with them every time but in training programmes, a doctor’s presence is very important.

What’s the importance of sports medicine in our daily life?
If you have 20 grounds, you can afford one hospital less! If sports is a part of your life, sports medicine will also be. It’s as simple as that.

(AIFF Press Release)