UEFA is introducing minimum medical requirements at UEFA competition matches from the start of the 2012/13 season. The minimum requirements, drawn up by the UEFA Medical Committee, were approved by the UEFA Executive Committee at its recent meeting in Istanbul.
UEFA's 53 member associations have been informed of the requirements, which are in line with UEFA's mission to ensure that hosts of UEFA matches provide players, match and team officials with a minimum standard of equipment and medical services to deal with accidents which might be life-threatening, or cause permanent injury.
The associations have been provided with a list of the requirements which will be mandatory for all UEFA competitions from next season. The list refers to pitchside medical equipment, ambulances, medical staff, emergency medical room equipment, pre-match information and pre-tournament information.
Certain requirements are already mandatory for all UEFA competitions, such as an emergency medical room in the stadium and the provision of stretchers, while others are mandatory for most of UEFA's competitions, for example the presence of an ambulance.
"The new requirements are designed to supplement these existing services and/or provide new services where gaps currently exist, and to ensure a standardised minimum service across UEFA competitions," UEFA said.
To help with funding the costs which relate to the new requirements, each of UEFA's member associations will be able to apply to use part of their existing funding from the HatTrick assistance programme to purchase medical equipment. They will also be entitled to loan equipment to regional associations or clubs hosting UEFA matches.
UEFA match officers will monitor compliance with the requirements, and failure to comply will result in disciplinary proceedings.
UEFA's Medical Committee has shown similar foresight in the area of football medicine by launching the UEFA Football Doctor Education Programme. The inaugural workshop in this programme was recently staged in Vienna, with 50 team doctors from UEFA national associations attending.
The main topic was emergency treatment of players - providing an overview of the general skills and knowledge needed by the modern team doctor in both theoretical lectures and practical sessions. The aim of the UEFA Football Doctor Education Programme is then to disseminate the knowledge at domestic level, encouraging the doctors to organise such workshops within their national associations.
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