A meta-analysis of meta-analyses of the effectiveness of FIFA injury prevention programs in soccer

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2019 Dec;29(12):1846-1855. doi: 10.1111/sms.13535. Epub 2019 Sep 5.


FIFA has a Medical and Research Centre (F-MARC) which has designed a comprehensive program targeting muscle strength, kinesthetic awareness, and neuromuscular control during static and dynamic movements to decrease injury risk for soccer players. A number of meta-analyses now exist on how effective FIFA's programs to prevent and reduce injury actually are, with various degrees of injury reduction reported. This research aimed to carry out a systematic review and to meta-analyse the existing meta-analyses so that a conclusion can be drawn on how effective the injury programs are. Relevant studies were identified by searching five databases for the period January 1990 till 1 July 2018. Results of each meta-analysis were combined together using risk ratios (RR) in a summary meta-analysis. QUOROM checklist and AMSTAR 2 assessment were used to assess the quality of reporting and methodology in the meta-analyses. Four meta-analyses met the inclusion criteria covering fifteen primary studies. All four meta-analyses scored quite highly on QUOROM, but two were rated by AMSTAR 2 as moderate quality, and two were found to be of critically low quality. An overall risk reduction in 34% (RR = 0.66 [0.60-0.73]) for all injuries and a reduction in 29% (RR = 0.71 [0.63-0.81]) for injuries to the lower limbs were revealed by this meta-analysis of meta-analyses. Combining every previous meta-analysis into a single source in this paper produced decisive evidence that the risk of injuries while playing soccer is reduced as a result of FIFA's injury prevention programs.

Keywords: F-MARC; FIFA; FIFA 11; FIFA 11+; injury prevention; soccer; the 11+; warm-up.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity / injuries
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Odds Ratio
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Soccer / injuries*