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Our activities

UEFA’s work in the field of football medicine aims to make sure everyone involved in professional football – first and foremost players – is medically safe.

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Our medical regulations set the highest standards for the health and safety of everyone involved in European football – both for UEFA competitions and the estimated 2,500 professional matches that take place across the continent every season.

But our medical activities don’t stop when the final whistle blows. In fact, our mission to ensure European football keeps pace with rapid change in the field of sports medicine never stops:

  • We constantly review and modify our regulations.
  • We help our member associations improve medical knowledge and education within their national game.
  • We run events for the rapidly growing global sports medicine community.
  • We fund research into critical medical topics like concussion and injuries in women’s football.
  • We run public awareness campaigns to make European football safe. The latest is focused on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and is being run jointly with the European Resuscitation Council (ERC).

First and foremost, we prioritise the well-being of players by providing clear guidelines and setting mandatory requirements for all UEFA competitions – both before kick-off and during the match.

Before kick-off

Pre-competition medical examination

Thorough, obligatory medical assessments ensure players are in optimal condition before taking to the field. The medical examination includes a general examination as well as cardiological screening, specific neurological baseline screening, and laboratory and orthopaedic examinations.

Medical briefing

Medical staff and match officials receive crucial medical information and instructions to safeguard player welfare. Any medical issues, injuries, pre-existing conditions and potential risks to player safety are discussed. Scenarios such as sudden cardiac arrests and spinal injuries are outlined and assessed to clearly define the roles of the pitchside emergency doctor, ambulance crews, stretcher teams and team doctors.


To ensure compliance with standards and to promote player welfare, we provide essential guidance documents for medical safety at all matches. These include regulations, committee guidelines, stadium infrastructure requirements, emergency action plans, anti-doping regulations, and concussion protocols.

Concussion charter

All clubs participating in our competitions and our member associations must sign up to UEFA’s concussion charter, which emphasises the importance of concussion management and player safety.

During the match

Minimum medical requirements

We enforce strict medical standards for players, team officials, referee teams and match officers at all UEFA matches. They establish minimum standards for the equipment and medical services required to deal with incidents at matches that might threaten lives or cause permanent injury. The host club or association is obliged to provide a minimum level of medical service in four key areas:

  • Pitchside medical equipment (for example: defibrillator, spinal board, resuscitation equipment)
  • Ambulance
  • Medical staff (including a dedicated pitchside doctor and stretcher team)
  • Emergency medical room equipment

Pitch-Side Emergency Chart

“No UEFA match should start without an automatic defibrillator, a bag valve mask and a spinal board or board stretcher.”

Zoran Bahtijarević, UEFA chief medical officer

Quick access to emergency protocols ensures prompt response to any medical incidents on the field.

Medical roles

Trained medical professionals must be stationed pitchside to provide immediate assistance and care as needed. They include the following roles:

  • Chief medical officer: appointed by the host club or association, the chief medical officer is responsible for the pitchside emergency briefing before every match as well as clearly defining the roles of each member of the medical team.
  • UEFA venue medical officer: for all our finals and final tournaments, we appoint a doctor to represent UEFA. They are responsible for inspecting equipment and delivering the pitchside emergency briefing to medical staff.
  • Pitchside emergency doctor: the duties of the pitchside emergency doctor include providing immediate medical care to injured players, assessing injuries, managing concussions, coordinating with team medical staff, ensuring the availability of emergency medical equipment and collaborating with match officials to prioritise player safety.