Event Planning

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15 Lessons

All football tournaments, like the FIFA World Cup™, require a large amount of planning and preparation. In addition to the hundreds of elite athletes involved in these events, there are also hundreds of support staff and thousands of supporters. Each of these groups present unique challenges regarding the effective and efficient provision of medical services.

In this module we will explore some of the general principles relating to planning for a football match or tournament, with special reference to a FIFA Football Tournament as the prime example. This will include planning for the needs of the players, tournament organisers and the supporters. These range from basic pastoral care to planning for a mass casualty incident.

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Learning outcomes

By the end of this topic you should:

  • understand the requirements for medical service coverage at FIFA competitions;
  • be aware of the planning and resourcing needed to develop an emergency medical plan;
  • be able to construct an emergency medical plan that takes into account the needs of the players, support staff and supporters;
  • understand the principles of “mass gathering medicine” and be able to quantify the level of risk associated with a planned match or tournament;
  • be able to plan for the required numbers of medical personnel, medical equipment, ambulances, medical teams, medical posts and medical centres and communication required for the expected numbers of supporters and risk profile;
  • be able to set up an adequate and appropriate training programme for the medical personnel destined for duty during the match or tournament;
  • have an approach to preventing a mass casualty event and be able to respond appropriately in the event this occurs.


  • Read the relevant section in the F-MARC Football Emergency Medicine Manual and other required reading.
  • Review the suggested reading.
  • View, or listen to, any relevant multimedia content.
  • Complete the course quiz.

Suggested reading

Brukner and Khan’s
Clinical Sports Medicine – 4th Edition
Chapter 65 (pages 1221-1227)


  1. Dvorak J, Kramer EB, Schmied CM, et al. The FIFA medical emergency bag and FIFA 11 steps to prevent sudden cardiac death: Setting a global standard and promoting consistent football field emergency care. Br J Sports Med. 2013;47(18):1199-1202.
  2. O’Neill PA. The ABC’s of disaster response. Scand J Surg. 2005;94(4):259-266.
  3. Arbon P. Mass-gathering medicine: A review of the evidence and future directions for research. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2007;22(2):131-135.
  4. Milsten AM, Maguire BJ, Bissell RA, Seaman KG. Mass-gathering medical care: A review of the literature. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2002;17(3):151-162.
  5. Madzimbamuto FD. A hospital response to a soccer stadium stampede in Zimbabwe. Emerg Med J. 2003;20(6):556-559.
  6. Yancey AH,2nd, Fuhri PD, Pillay Y, Greenwald I. World cup 2010 planning: An integration of public health and medical systems. Public Health. 2008;122(10):1020-1029.