Organizers of the 2021 Flying Officers, Ratels Sports Development Foundation, charged participants at the tournament to be conscious of their well-being, both on and off the pitch.
The lecture which focused on basic fundamental principles in the area of injury prevention, sports rehabilitation, performance optimization came on the backdrop of two fatal injuries that occurred on Matchday five, between WACO Ladies and SGH Sports Academy Amazons.
Renowned Orthopedic Surgeon and immediate Chief Medical Director of Maitama General Hospital, Dr. Ahmed Suleiman, who was the resource person for the seminar, urged players to protect themselves and be self-conscious whenever they are on the pitch of play.
The sports medicine expert further advised players on how to attend to injuries when the case arises.
“As a player, if you are injured, don’t get carried away that the injury would signify the end of your career, go to a definitive center and get the best of treatment for yourself.
The former NFF Chief Medical Director also lectured the players and officials on how to live a healthy life, as well as first aid treatment that players can adopt before the arrival of the medical team in the case of Denmark captain, Christian Eriksson.
“The fact that you want to win at all times does not mean you should be careless about football. When you want to head the ball, you have to be sure that it is safe. When you want to chest your ball, you have to be sure that you are safe. Make sure that you play safely. These are self precautions. Rough tackles are one of our biggest challenges. If you hit my pelvis, it might destroy my abductor’s muscle. If you hit my knee, you are destroying my hamstring, Anterior Cruciate Ligament, Posterior Cruciate Ligament, and Meniscal injuries. If you tackle my ankle anyhow, you are fracturing my tibia, small bones of the leg, and so on. The bones, ligaments, and muscles go together. Anything that injures one, injures others. Players have to be as careful as possible.
“As far as sports are concerned, the goalkeepers put on gloves so that when the shot is too hard, they guide the ball without fracturing the fingers and bones of the hand. We use to have soft knee braces so that when the knee is attacked, it reduces the injury. The boot protects the ankle. The basics are when a player is down in football due to contact, the nearest player should be the doctor immediately.
Find out whether the player is still breathing, bleeding and the rest to avoid escalation of injuries. It is called ABCD. A for the airway especially if the tongue is behind, you will have to put your hand so that the player won’t die. B is for breathing to be sure if the chest is moving or not.
In his own part, President of Ratels Sports Development Foundation, Barrister Paul Edeh thanked Dr. Ahmed Suleiman for finding time out of his very busy schedule to come to lecture the players and officials of all 16 participating teams in the Flying Officers Cup on how to live a good life as an athlete, noting that, it has become necessary that there should an active collaboration of efforts by everyone involved in the competition to ensure that players are safe and that the Foundation will continue to work hard to see that players are more educated on the need to be safe both on and off the pitch.
He also stated that footballers and officials need information on nutrition that can make them healthy and also the kind of treatment they need to observe in case of injury and other things.