The warm-up programme "FIFA 11+" has been shown to reduce football injuries in different populations, but so far veteran players have not been investigated. Due to differences in age, skill level and gender, a simple transfer of these results to veteran football is not recommended. The purpose of this study was to investigate the preventive effects of the "FIFA 11+" in veteran football players. Twenty veteran football teams were recruited for a prospective 9-month (1 season) cluster-randomised trial. The intervention group (INT, n = 146; 45 ± 8 years) performed the "FIFA 11+" at the beginning of each training session, while the control group (CON, n = 119; 43 ± 6 years) followed its regular training routine. Player exposure hours and injuries were recorded according to an international consensus statement. No significant difference was found between INT and CON in overall injury incidence (incidence rate ratio [IRR]: 0.91 [0.64-1.48]; P = 0.89). Only severe injuries reached statistical significance with higher incidence in CON (IRR: 0.46 [0.21-0.97], P = 0.04). Regular conduction (i.e. once a week) of the "FIFA 11+" did not prevent injuries in veteran footballers under real training and competition circumstances. The lack of preventive effects is likely due to the too low overall frequency of training sessions.
Keywords: elderly; injuries; neuromuscular training; preventive strategies; soccer.