As part of UEFA's on-going commitment to promote widespread Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training, players at the Nations League and Under-21 EURO finals have completed courses that can help save lives.
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Alongside the European Resuscitation Council (ERC), UEFA is aiming to train more than 12,000 people in CPR, bringing medical expertise to players, coaches, referees, staff and supporters so that anyone is able to act quickly in the event of sudden cardiac arrest and increase the chances of survival by up to three times.
Building on the success of the first CPR training session held with teams at the Women's Finalissima earlier this year, UEFA and the ERC continued the programme at the Nations League finals in the Netherlands.
All four finalist teams of Spain, Italy, Netherlands, and Croatia were given the invaluable opportunity to acquire CPR techniques under the guidance of experts, equipping them with the essential skills to administer emergency CPR.
Paolo Corbi, Head of Communication Dpt at FIGC and national teams
“For the first time, the Italy National team's staff and players had the opportunity to be actively involved in a first aid’s training activity and they showed a real desire to learn. The memory of the episode at the last European Championship is still very strong in the memory of all the Azzurri. Throughout the meeting, there was active participation, both in listening the information and in trying to learn the techniques of rapid resuscitation in case of sudden cardiac arrest. On this type of training, there is the availability and willingness of players and staff to further explore a path that concerns them, certainly as players, but above all as responsible people.”
Mohamed Simakan, France Under-21 player
"We've learnt a lot. Major accidents can happen on the road and even on the pitch, anywhere. The first aid gestures we learnt today are really important and can help us to know how to react in emergency situations. It's very useful for the future - and we're very grateful to UEFA and the French Football Federation for organising this session. We hope we won't need to use it, but if it does happen we'll know how to react."
Nikola Soldo, Croatia Under-21 player
"The CPR training that we took part in during our pre-tournament camp for EURO U-21 was a really useful refresher on providing first aid. Knowing how to provide basic life support should be common knowledge, and I hope that through this initiative we can all collectively contribute to greater public awareness of how important CPR training is and how many lives we can save through knowing what to do if we ever find ourselves in a situation where we can save a life."
The initiative was initially introduced at the UEFA Medical Symposium in February, where UEFA and the ERC announced a joint mission to train over 12,000 individuals in CPR, which could help to save up to 100,000 lives in Europe alone each year.
Teams participating in the Under-21 EURO in Georgia and Romania this summer have also begun CPR training as part of their tournament preparation. The initiative will be extended to teams competing in various youth and futsal tournaments throughout the year. Additionally, UEFA staff, members of European football's 55 national associations, and volunteers working at UEFA EURO 2024 in Germany will also receive CPR training.
CPR: learn the steps
1) If the person is unresponsive with absent or abnormal breathing (check)
2) Call emergency services (call)
3) Give 30 chest compressions (compress)
4) Give 2 rescue breaths
5) Continue CPR 30:2
6) As soon as the automated external defibrillator (AED) arrives – switch it on and follow instructions.
Anyone can do it. Everyone should know it. CPR has the power to save lives, including your own and those of your loved ones. Don't wait. Learn the steps.