14th April 2013
The MFPA seminar addressed different important topics which included doping, medical insurance for next season, the offering of a Sports Management degree to players and also sports integrity.
Dr. David Attard spoke in detail about the WADA prohibited list, the drug testing procedure, therapeutic use exemptions and the players and clubs duties. Players were able to ask questions regarding for example what medications to take in certain instances such as when having flu symptoms. Dr. David Attard emphasised that at least 48 hours before competition football players should avoid taking medications that contain the pseudoephedrine substance. This substance is easily found in over the counter medications. Other questions asked were regarding hair loss products and Erectile Dysfunction medications. Finasteride which is a substance contained in particular hair loss treatment products such as Propecia was removed from the banned list in 2009. Sildenafil aka Viagra is also not banned. Dr. Attard also emphasised that a player is a role model to young players and even if a number of social drugs do not enhance the players performance these are still on the WADA prohibited list and can stay in the human body system for a long period. Finally players are always responsible of the medications they take.
Mr. Tonio Borg who represented Mediterranean Insurance Brokers spoke about this year's success of the medical health insurance offered to football players for the first time. Together with Citadel Insurance over 50 players were insured whom included also female players. Two of this year's claims included 2 cruciate injuries. One of the players i.e. Karl Pulo playing for Tarxien Rainbows successfully undergone surgery in Sicily and was refunded all the money paid within 5 days. The other player chose to undergo surgery here in Malta. The player or the club did not have to fork out any money as a direct settlement agreement exists with all Maltese clinics. Both players were operated by Dr. Giuseppe Pellegrino. Considering the success of this insurance this year the insurers decided to also offer the policy to young players and there will be no age limit. THe policy will be offered only during the months of July and August and will cost €320 for 12 months. It will not make a difference when players or clubs purchase the insurance as the same cost will be incurred. Medical history will be disregarded.
Mr. Matthew Paris subsequently explained the online Sports Management degree being offered to players. The aim of this project is to provide dual career training for young sportsmen and sportswomen at an early stage though high quality local training. All courses are in English and all a player needs to follow the courses is a laptop, with an internet connection, a headset and a webcam. The degree can be completed between 3.5 years and 5 years. The cost including books for all modules is only €1100.
Finally Mr. Franz Tabone delivered a presentation on the topic of Sports Integrity. He stated that match fixing is organised crime, is destroying our game and that criminals are making huge amounts of cash at the expense of football players. The players, referees, club officials and the MFA are all responsible and should speak up if they notice suspicious actions. Players may contact the MFPA or directly Mr. Franz Tabone 24/7.
At the end of the seminar MFPA congratulated Malcolm Licari who was present at the seminar for achieving his 100th career goal. All presentations can be found in the resources section of the MFPA website.