International

Virus shutdown could impact mental health of 'at-risk' footballers, warns doctor

2020-05-01 15:57
Premier League soccer ball
Premier League soccer ball (Getty Images)

Scottish football's medical chief has warned that the coronavirus pandemic could exacerbate mental health problems among "at-risk" players.

Global players' union FIFPro last month warned of a sharp rise in the number of footballers reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression since the game was suspended worldwide.

A study in 2015 found that 64 percent of players in Scotland reported that they or a team-mate had experienced issues with their mental health.

"Our initial study identified key triggers for mental health issues in football," John MacLean, the Scottish Football Association's chief medical consultant, told the SFA's website.

"These include players at the beginning or end of their career with uncertainty around their new contracts and the prospect of having to find employment and finance outside professional football."

"At times like this, some players already considered to be at risk will potentially feel further impact," he added.

MacLean sits on the COVID-19 joint response group, which brings together the SFA and the Scottish Professional Football League.

Football in Scotland has been suspended until at least June 10 and all leagues below the Premiership have been declared over for the season.

England's Premier League clubs were meeting on Friday to discuss proposals on how to finish the campaign behind closed doors.

"From a medical perspective, we will look at the issues in the journey back to training and eventual matches," said MacLean.

"We will discuss the practicalities of testing, protocols for unwell players and staff, as well as using facilities shared with other groups.

"When you list all the different aspects, it's quite a task but we have a group motivated to find solutions and take advice from others around the UK and the world, in both football and other sports."

Read more on:    coronavirus  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

Assuming the 2019/20 Absa Premiership season can't be concluded prior to the 31 July deadline decreed by FIFA, what would be the fairest way to settle matters - all bias aside?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.