Soccer

UEFA to investigate ACL injuries in women’s football

Leah Williamson suffered an ACL injury earlier this year (Simon Marper/PA)
Leah Williamson suffered an ACL injury earlier this year (Simon Marper/PA) Leah Williamson suffered an ACL injury earlier this year (Simon Marper/PA)

UEFA has launched a new initiative to investigate and better understand anterior cruciate ligament injuries in the women’s game.

A number of high-profile players have suffered ACL injuries in recent seasons, including England pair Beth Mead and Leah Williamson and two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas.

The new plan from the European governing body is a recommendation from its recently-established health expert panel.

A group compromising internationally-renowned experts and researchers has been set up to look into the high prevalence of such injuries in women’s football.

England’s Beth Mead celebrates scoring against Scotland
England’s Beth Mead celebrates scoring against Scotland Beth Mead recently returned to action from a lengthy lay-off with an ACL injury (Steve Welsh/PA)

One of the group’s first steps has been to create an awareness questionnaire open to all individuals affected by ACL issues, including players, coaches, physicians, physiotherapists and parents.

It aims to produce a consensus for an ACL injury prevention and management plan by summer 2024.

UEFA chief medical officer Zoran Bahtijarevic said: “Addressing the prevalence of ACL injuries in women’s football is crucial for the wellbeing of athletes and the advancement of the sport.

“UEFA’s proactive step in establishing a panel of experts reflects a commitment to understanding and reducing these injuries in the future.”