Obstacles and opportunities for injury prevention in professional football in Qatar: Exploring the implementation reality

Montassar Tabben*, Evert Verhagen, Marit Warsen, Mokthar Chaabane, Yorck Schumacher, Khalid Alkhelaifi, Bahar Hassanmirzaei, Roald Bahr, Karim Chamari, Caroline Bolling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Research focusing on reducing the risk of injuries has increased over the last two decades showing that prevention implementation in real life is challenging. Objective To explore the experience and opinions of professional football stakeholders regarding injuries, their prevention and the implementation of preventive measures. Design Qualitative study. Setting Technical and medical staff from Qatar's premier football league. Participants 22 professionals from 6 teams. Main outcome Semistructured interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using the thematic analysis method. Results All the participants acknowledged the importance of injury prevention. They mentioned teamwork, trust and communication as critical factors for a successful injury prevention implementation. Teams' doctors see themselves mainly involved in the treatment and recovery process, and to a lesser degree, in the prevention process. Physiotherapists defined their primary responsibilities as screening for injury risk and providing individual exercises to players. The participants declared that the fitness coach is responsible for injury prevention implementation. All stakeholders reported that the fitness coach plays a vital role in communication by bridging the head coach and the medical staff. Stakeholders reported that the Qatari football league has a very particular context around the player, such as socioecological factors influencing injury prevention implementation. Conclusions The fitness coach plays a vital role in the injury prevention implementation system, as one of the key actors for the process, as well as the bridge between the medical team and the head coach, resulting from their better communication with the head coaches. The findings support considering and understanding the contextual factors during the development of preventive strategies in football.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberbmjsem-2022-001370
JournalBMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2023

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