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For club and NT medical staff

HNS holds the first
digital edition of
its Annual Medical

HNS holds the first digital edition of its Annual Medical Symposium
photo by: Arhiva HNS
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For years, the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) and its Medical Committee have been organizing annual medical symposia for Croatian football doctors. Due to the current pandemic of COVID-19, this year’s edition was the first to be held via a video-conferencing system.

The 2021 Medical Symposium was held on January 29 and 30, and it was attended by 47 doctors from the medical staffs of the Croatian national teams and of clubs in the Croatian First and Second Divisions, the Croatian Futsal First Division, and the Croatian Women’s First Division. The contents of the Symposium followed the curriculum of UEFA’s Football Doctor Education Programme (FDEP), with the lecturers discussing themes such as injury prevention, rehabilitation, pre-competition medical screening, UEFA’s Minimal Medical Requirements, sports nutrition and conditioning, sports psychology, supplementation, and anti-doping.

foto: Arhiva HNS

“Our Annual Medical Symposium is one of many educational activities for football doctors that are organized by the HNS Medical Committee. I’m extremely proud of the fact that we’ve successfully managed to continue the tradition of this annual event during the current situation, and that we’ve once again done our best in offering club and NT doctors the chance to learn about the most up-to-date knowledge in sports medicine and adjacent areas. This year’s seminar was more interdisciplinary than ever – among our lecturers, we also had psychologists, nutritionists, and conditioning experts. An important part of this year’s Medical Symposium were the newest scientific findings on SARS-CoV-2, which form the basis for recommendations on diagnosing and treating the novel coronavirus in athletes. I want to thank the Executive Committee of the HNS, all of the Federation’s employees, and especially president Davor Šuker for the continued support they’ve given us in organizing educational activities for docors and in other areas of the Medical Committee’s work,” said Medical Committee president prof. dr. Dragan Primorac.

“As a member of the Medical Committees of both UEFA and the HNS, I’m always proud to see that Croatia is among the most successful European countries in terms of organizing UEFA’s FDEP courses. We’re currently also the only country that has managed to organize a fully online edition of a FDEP course, and I think both of these facts speak volumes on the importance that the HNS and the HNS Medical Committee place on the continued education of football doctors,” said doctor of the Croatian men’s senior team, UEFA Medical Committee third vice-chairman, and HNS Medical Committee member dr. Zoran Bahtijarević.

“Although we have years of experience in organizing FDEP courses behind us, this year’s edition is the first one that was fully held online. Even with this change in the format of the course, we managed to maintain our usual high standard of education and offer Croatian football doctors the opportunity to take part in UEFA’s programme. Though FDEP was developed as an in-person course that’s taught by licensed instructors, we successfully adapted it to an online format – and I’m especially happy to say that we’ve received nothing but excellent feedback from this year’s attendees. I want to thank all of them for taking part in this course and I hope to see them again next year. I also want to thank all of my colleagues at the HNS – and especially head of international affairs and licensing Ivančica Sudac – for their support in organizing countless editions of FDEP courses,” said secretary of the HNS Medical Committee dr. Tomislav Vlahović, who once again headed the organization of the Medical Symposium.

As part of this year’s symposium, HNS Medical Committee president prof. dr. Dragan Primorac gave a lecture on SARS-CoV-2 and the impact of genetic research on fighting the current pandemic, while GNK Dinamo doctor dr. Ivica Smodek shared his personal experiences on fighting the spread of COVID-19 among his players.

Several members of the medical staffs of Croatia’s national teams also held lectures at the Symposium – as one of the authors of UEFA’s Return to Play Protocol, dr. Zoran Bahtijarević spoke on the fight against COVID-19 in football, as well as on anti-doping and screening for banned substances, while Croatia U-21 doctor dr. Mislav Rakić spoke on pre-competition medical screenings and on anti-doping regulations.

Nutritionist Risto Čebedžija gave a talk on nutrition in football, while dr. Bartol Petković spoke on injury recovery. As a licensed FDEP instructor, dr. Tomislav Vlahović covered core subjects such as injury prevention, preparing for matches and tournaments, UEFA’s MMR, and supplementation.

Prof. Amir Zulić spoke on sports psychology, while the conditioning coach of the Croatian men’s senior team prof. Luka Milanović gave a lecture on conditioning and recovery.


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