F-Marc – the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre – is a high quality FIFA body composed of top medical specialists. It is funded by FIFA to carry out research into different aspects of football.

FIFA Chief Medical Officer, Jiri Dvorak, is highly regarded for his work, among other things, in the field of doping control and it is a matter of pride that positive tests are extremely rare in World Cup football.

When this is compared to the regular failed drug tests in the Olympic Games and in the Tour de France, for example, football can be said to be basically clean of the problem of drugs.

While F-MARC is funded by FIFA, all research is independently conducted following the highest scientific standards. More than 100 publications in world renowned scientific journals bear testimony to  the sound research work of F-MARC within the international science community, systematically contributing to an ever growing body of knowledge in football medicine.

It has issued valuable guidelines about injury prevention and treatment and the need for a good warm-up before matches, for example and after some fatal incidents has examined the health risks associated with active sport participation including sudden cardiac death.

It can sometimes be over-scientific however and ignore the reality of the match situation.

It has criticised referees for over physical play taking place on the field for example.

If a player commits a challenge using excessive force and an opponent is severely injured, the fault lies with the player and not with the referee.

The referee can only act according to the Laws of the Game after the challenge. It is not his fault that the challenge has taken place in the first place.

Doctors are a very important part of the game in so many ways but they sometimes lack a bit of fingerspitzengefühl – a feeling for the game.

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