Tuesday 01 November 2022, 03:00

Living Football | A vital medical protocol in Qatar, a key environmental campaign and an inclusive sticker album

  • Andrew Massey discusses the Qatar 2022 concussion protocol

  • Marcel Desailly highlights the importance of recycling at the World Cup

  • A Brazilian youngster inspires a sticker album that is all about inclusivity

The last episode of Living Football before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ looks at some keys issues relating to the competition, which kicks off on 20 November in Doha. FIFA Medical Director Andrew Massey talks about the various processes that will be implemented at the World Cup, among them the new FIFA Medical Concussion Protocol. “The concussion protocol is a step-by-step guide for team doctors and medics, alerting them how to best treat concussive or potentially concussive injuries in football.

FIFA Medical Director Andrew Massey during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Team Workshop

“Concussion… is not the same as another injury. Sometimes, it can take 72 hours to manifest itself. We work upon the credo of ‘suspect and protect’, to put into place things that support and assist the team doctors to make the right decisions.” Massey added that in the event of actual or suspected concussion, the Qatar 2022 protocol allows for a substitution to be made, in addition to the five permitted substitutions. “What we want to do is this ‘suspect and protect’, act in the player’s best interests at every stage, but not to the detriment of the team. We don’t want to leave a team numerically or tactically disadvantaged. Everything that FIFA do is to support the team doctors.”

The latest episode of Living Football also features ex-France international and World Cup winner Marcel Desailly, who talks about the role he took up as a champion of the environment after retiring from the game. As part of FIFA’s Save the Planet campaign, he will be highlighting the importance of recycling during the tournament. “Raising awareness means talking about the issue,” said the former centre-half, who lifted the World Cup Trophy with France on home soil in 1998. “We don’t want to educate people, but we do want them to pay attention and take responsibility, even if it’s only just a little. If everyone tries to make a big effort over the years, we can bring something to the community. “The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, so we’re going to generate a lot of waste and things that have to be recycled,” added Desailly. “That’s one of the reasons why we want to raise awareness and bring about change.” The former Bleus man also shared his memories of France’s march to the 1998 world title.

Panini Album for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

The last item in this episode of Living Football is devoted to Pedro, a Brazilian youngster whose passion for World Cup stickers is undimmed by his blindness and who came up with a braille version of the Qatar 2022 album. His ingenuity has led on to something much bigger, as FIFA Senior Licensing Manager Alessandro Villa explains. “A FIFA colleague sent me the video and I was amazed by Pedro’s desire to explore new boundaries beyond his disability. I felt we had to do something as FIFA,” said Villa. After speaking to Pedro’s family, Villa contacted the head office of album makers Panini in Italy and its licensee in Brazil, who were receptive and open to the idea of producing an adapted version of the album. They came up with stickers featuring information in braille and an album in three volumes containing all the data from the 650 original stickers. “We really have to give credit to Pedro’s family, because they wanted to create something not just for him but for the wider community,” added Villa. “We are already in discussions with Panini about creating a more compact version and making it available to the public.”