Increased risk of injury following red and yellow cards, injuries and goals in FIFA World Cups

University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
British Journal of Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.03). 07/2013; 47(15). DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092487
Source: PubMed


To study the relationship between potentially game-disrupting incidents (PGDIs; red and yellow cards, goals and injuries) and the injury incidence in football.
Prospective injury surveillance during three FIFA World Cups in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Official match statistics were obtained for all the matches played in the three tournaments.
2002, 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups.
Team physicians at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups.
Injury incidences and incidence rate ratios (IRRs).
The injury incidence was significantly higher during match periods within the minute of, or during a five-minute period following a yellow card, red card, another injury or a goal (PGDIs) than during other match periods (76.7/1000 match hours; 95% CI (66.6 to 87.9) vs 54.0/1000 match hours (46.9 to 61.9), p<0.001). There were significant differences in injury incidence between different match periods, with the highest injury incidence seen in the last 15 min of the first half (p<0.001). The PGDIs (other than injury) had a tendency to increase towards the end of the game and the most frequent PGDI was a yellow card. There was a risk ratio of 1.17 (95% CI 1.08 to 1.26) for injury, per PGDI (other injuries excluded) (p<0.001), and 1.15 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.24) after adjusted match time (p<0.001).
The injury incidence is high within the five minutes following a PGDI. For both team management and players, being aware of the increased risk of injury directly after a PGDI may be of clinical relevance, as it may enable them to take precautions in order to prevent injuries. There are significant differences in injury incidence between different match periods and game-related factors, such as PGDIs, appear partly to contribute to this variation.

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    ABSTRACT: Foul play has been considered as one of the most important known extrinsic risk factors for injuries in football. To compare the incidence and characteristics of foul play injuries and non-foul injuries. Team physicians' postmatch injury reports and official match statistics were obtained from all matches of the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Fédération Internationale de Football Association World Cups. The number of injuries was associated with the number of fouls in a match. The incidence of foul play injuries (20.6/1000 match-hours, 95% CI 17.3 to 24.4) was significantly lower than that of non-foul injuries (42.6, 37.7 to 47.9), which also applied to all playing positions. The causation of injury (foul/non-foul), match period and teams' drawing/losing/winning status were associated with the injury incidence. The interactions between the causation of injury (foul/non-foul) and match time, as well as the teams' drawing/losing/winning status or playing position were not statistically significant. The median (IQR) days of absence resulting from foul play injuries were significantly shorter than that of non-foul injuries. The lower leg and ankle were more common locations for foul play injuries than for non-foul injuries, whereas the opposite was observed for thigh injuries. Contusions were a more common type of foul play injuries than non-foul injuries, while the opposite was found for muscle strains/ruptures/tears. The numbers of injuries and fouls in a match were significantly associated. No significant differences in the variation of foul play and non-foul injury incidences regarding match period, teams' current winning/drawing/losing status and playing position were observed, suggesting that foul play injuries and non-foul injuries may share similar underlying risk factors.
    British Journal of Sports Medicine 08/2013; 47(15). DOI:10.1136/bjsports-2013-092676 · 5.03 Impact Factor
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    British Journal of Sports Medicine 10/2014; 49(1). DOI:10.1136/bjsports-2014-093991 · 5.03 Impact Factor
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