19 May 2018– The ground-breaking SAFA/CAF Medical Symposium, which touched on various medical issues afflicting the game and addressed ways to find lasting solutions, took place at SAFA House on Saturday, 19 May 2018.
Chief Executive Officer of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Dennis Mumble, gave the opening address, where he emphasised the importance of hosting such critical seminars. Mumble said such gatherings were important in keeping the continent abreast with modern technology, adding such meetings will change the face of African football.
The Symposium, whose theme was ‘Football Medicine; Are we winning’, was attended by various medical personnel from both CAF and FIFA and was presided over by SAFA’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Thulani Ngwenya.
Among the topics which the gathering brainstormed, were ethics, doping, football medicine, the rules and regulation, psychology, nutrition, rehabilitation and recuperation.
The Symposium also touched on concussion management, the new trends and effective communication between clubs and national teams.
However, the topic which took centre stage was the prevalent cases of cardiac arrest which is common among mostly players of African descent. The symposium debated on the need for medical personnel to be on the alert during matches and to attend to players in distress as urgently as possible.
With the ever-changing trends in the game, Dr Ngwenya hailed the symposium and the sharing of ideas among various delegates as a catalyst of growing the game on the continent.
“This is the start of many to come. I want to believe everything went according to plan, and we had various debates on different issues, all in the name of helping the game of football in this country. I would like to thank all the speakers, the participants and say we would not have pulled it off without you. It is important to have a follow-up session as there is still so much to be discussed to grown the game in South Africa. We will sit down with relevant parties and do a review, and take it from there, but we are definitely going to have another in the not too distant future. Thank you to one and all once again,” said Dr Ngwenya.