Epidemiology of football injuries in Asia: a prospective study in Qatar

J Sci Med Sport. 2013 Mar;16(2):113-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2012.07.001. Epub 2012 Aug 1.


Objectives: To investigate the incidence, characteristics and patterns of football injuries at club level in Qatar.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Methods: Data were prospectively collected from the first division football league clubs in Qatar, in accordance with the international consensus statement on football injury epidemiology. An injury was defined as any physical complaint sustained during football activity resulting in the inability to participate fully in the next training or match. Individual injuries and exposure of each player were recorded by the medical staff of each team over one season.

Results: A total of 217 injuries were recorded, with an injury rate during matches of 14.5/1000h (95% CI: 11.6-18.0) compared with 4.4/1000h during training sessions (95% CI: 3.7-5.2). More than one third of all injuries were muscle strains (36.4%). Hamstring strains (54.4% of all muscle strains) exhibited a higher incidence than all other injury types (p<0.001). The thigh was the most frequent injury location (41.9%, p<0.001). Reinjuries (15% of total injuries) were mainly comprised of muscle strains associated with a higher severity compared with new injuries.

Conclusions: Despite the different environmental, social and cultural setting, our findings are comparable with previous data from European club football, confirming the previous finding at national team level that there are no regional peculiarities of football injuries in this part of the Asiatic continent. The relatively high overuse injury incidence rate and the high recurrence rate for (severe) thigh muscle strains, especially during games, warrants prevention strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology
  • Brain Concussion / etiology
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / etiology
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Joint Dislocations / epidemiology
  • Joint Dislocations / etiology
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries
  • Prospective Studies
  • Qatar / epidemiology
  • Recurrence
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Sprains and Strains / epidemiology
  • Sprains and Strains / etiology
  • Thigh