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11 Lessons

Before players start participating in any sport, they should be medically examined to ensure that they are sufficiently healthy to cope with the demands of training and playing. Therefore, medical assessments aimed at risk factor and disease detection are generally advocated by physicians and sports organisations. The aims of the pre-competition assessment are to prevent harm and to identify potentially significant medical conditions that might make playing football dangerous. A very small number of individuals have unknown or undiagnosed heart conditions, such as congenital cardiomyopathy, and may be at risk as exercise might trigger the manifestation of their disease or at least of associated symptoms like cardiac arrhythmia and might, in the worst case, cause sudden cardiac death. This small part of the population should be identified in order not to expose a player to any disproportionate risk.

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Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you should:

  • have an understanding of the value and limitations of the PCMA;
  • be able to complete the FIFA PCMA by taking an appropriate history, conducting a clinical examination and arranging appropriate investigations;
  • have an understanding regarding the indications and interpretation of echocardiogram (ECG) and ECG screening;
  • understand the changes relating to the ‘athlete’s heart’.


  • Review the provided text and media content.
  • Read Chapter One of the FIFA Medical Manual, review the FIFA PCMA forms and consider reading the other suggested articles.
  • Complete the case-based assessment task.

Required Reading


Football Medicine Manual 2nd Edition

Chapter 2.1 (pages 24-61)

Suggested Reading

Brukner and Khan’s

Clinical Sports Medicine 4th Edition

Chapters 61 (pages 1176-1184) and 62 (pages 1185-1202)


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