Introduced for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™, the standard Pre-Competition Medical Assessment (PCMA) has now become mandatory for every male and female player participating in a FIFA tournament at all levels (from the FIFA U-17 World Cup upwards). These medical screening assessments have also become mandatory for match officials. Ever since the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, a PCMA has been required for all male and female match officials taking part in FIFA tournaments.1,2
As many referees are “older” athletes, an exercise ECG is often recommended. The leading cause of sudden cardiac death in people over the age of 35 years is related to coronary artery disease. An exercise test should be conducted for all athletes with an increased cardiovascular risk profile, and for individuals above the age of 35, or both. Abnormal findings trigger additional examinations (e.g. cardiac magnetic resonance) and an evaluation by experienced sports cardiologists.