FIFA protecting players at all cost |

Fifa and Protecting Football Players

FIFA is doing a great job protecting football players health-wise. For this reason, football or soccer for our friends across the pond is known as the ‘beautiful game.’

Football/soccer brings people together, unites nations, provides an escape from everyday life, and is one of the most competitive sports. 

Watching football is all good, but you can’t beat an actual game of footy when you’re feeling competitive and want to get stuck. 

We know that soccer players these days have a reputation for diving, theatrics, and being melodramatic, unlike in the 80s and 90s when the game is more physically competitive.

The game has changed, and while more safety precautions are in place, football is still a physical game, and there are always risks. 

Since the game’s inception, there have been countless injuries on the pitch, and sadly, there have even been deaths.

Abiding by the rules and prioritizing your safety and the safety of others on the field of play is paramount. 

FIFA’s approach to protecting the health of football players

FIFA is the leading governing body for the game of football/soccer. FIFA is the governing body for the seventeen laws of football internationally. 

With the headquarters based in and established in Switzerland in 1904, there are currently over 200 members of FIFA, each one representing a different country. 

With the game governed by FIFA, there is currently a 150-page rulebook laying out the rules of football/soccer. We obviously won’t be looking at each one, but we will be looking at what FIFA has to say regarding the safety of its players.

So, what is FIFA’s approach to protecting the health of football players? Well, in reality, there are several vital elements to highlight, including: 

Fifa on Football Tackling

Fifa and the protection of football players include addressing the issue of ball retrieval from an opponent. Tackling is a critical element of football because it’s how a player wins the ball from an opponent. 

One of the game’s laws is that two-footed challenges are not permitted to prevent the risk of serious injury. Also, players should do everything possible to avoid a clash of heads. 

Fifa and Player Behavior

We know that accidents happen, and injuries in football are often accidental and unavoidable. There have been instances, however, where player behavior has harmed others, i.e., reckless challenges. And this is while FIFA is implementing ways to protect football players.

For instance, in the English Premier League (EPL) in 2001, a match between Manchester United football club and Manchester City football club.

Manchester United player Roy Keane lost his composure and tackled Alf Inge Haaland woefully. Roy Keane’s act ended Alf Inge Haaland’s football career. Haaland wasn’t lucky to recover quickly.

FIFA’s ‘Fair Play’ policy prevents such incidents from happening on the pitch. 

Environment-related attitude

Another possible health risk regarding football and soccer safety is the playing environment.

Altitude, for example, can not only affect performance but also affect a player’s health.

As such, players from low altitudes must acclimatize for 1 -2 weeks before competing at high-altitude locations. 

Diet and sleep during fasting

The fasting period poses significant health challenges to religious players. Food, drink, and sleep are all vital components of any sport.

Football/soccer players adhering to fasting are at greater risk due to lack of food, dehydration, and sleep deprivation. 

Therefore, FIFA requires clubs to provide additional expert diet and nutritional advice to ensure players eat right and sleep right while competing and training. 


A referee’s job is to officiate a game of football, which means they are responsible for the state of play. 

Referees have the authority to call off games if they believe the welfare of a player, or players, is under threat.

However, there have been past events where officials should not have played the game but never did. 

For instance, while thunderstorms were forecasted in South Africa, the sky and heavy rain had darkened. The officiating referee and officials allowed a football game to commence. Unfortunately, lightning struck the playing ground, and numerous players suffered injuries. 

FIFA has committed to continually reviewing referee training programs to ensure that officials are well-prepared to make difficult decisions regarding the safety of everybody on the pitch. 

Medical history of players

Players with underlying or previous health issues may be more at risk when playing football than those without health or medical problems. 

To better protect each player, FIFA pledges to develop and implement an in-depth medical assessment protocol for each player participating in an event.


FIFA and every other professional governing body in football banned using PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) and illegal drugs for players, coaching staff, and everybody else involved in football. 

FIFA has implemented extensive drug testing protocols to support WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency).

Players taking prescribed medication must inform the relevant authorities and be assessed again. 

Playing surfaces

Finally, we have playing surfaces. 

The surface on which a player competes can greatly affect overall health and safety. 

Suppose the surface is particularly slippery, for example. In that case, there is an increased risk of slipping, which can increase the risk of broken bones, pulled muscles, torn muscles, sprains, and other similar injuries.

A frozen pitch surface can also pose significant injury risks. 

Non-naturally grown grass football pitches have an increased risk of injury. Hence, FIFA implemented a strict protocol whereby FIFA officials must inspect artificial turf pitches for approval.

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Safefellow Editorial Team

This post is a collective effort of the @Safefellow editorial team. It gives us immense pleasure to share our knowledge with you, and we hope you find the readings informative and educative.