Fifa President Gianni Infantino at the Fifa Centre of Medical Excellence (FCME)
Fifa President Gianni Infantino at the Fifa Centre of Medical Excellence (FCME) Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Fifa President Gianni Infantino has hailed the contribution made by the Fifa Centre of Medical Excellence (FCME) in filling a void in the sporting sector while reaching out towards the rehabilitation of sportspeople from the UAE and beyond.

Infantino, who is in the UAE as the keynote speaker at Sunday’s Dubai International Sports Conference (DISC), was appreciative of the “tremendous contribution of the centre in catering to the upliftment of sports especially in the region”.

“All of us at the FCME are appreciative and grateful to Fifa President Infantino for making time to visit us. He was appreciative of the work we have been doing in putting sportspersons in a much better position to live a near injury-free career at the peak of their chosen sport,” Dr Mourad Ghrairi, Chief Medical Officer at FCME, told Gulf News.

“He further urged us to carry on our work as though it was like the most passionate task that we have undertaken as sports medical professionals. It’s good to have the appreciation from the president of the world governing body of football as this shows his interest in the betterment of football around the globe.”

Dr Ghrairi showed Infantino around the centre and explained to him how some of the best sportsmen, mostly top-class footballers, have been regular visitors to the FCME since the past few years. The FCME ensures athletes a sure access to the latest state of-the-art technology and a team of reputable and world-class sports medicine professionals. These two factors combined have made the centre one of the most prized destinations for top-level sports professionals seeking a wide array of services including surgery, rehabilitation, reathlitisation, pre-competition medical assessment or simple expertise.

Sunday’s DISC will also feature Cristiano Ronaldo, 2020 Fifa Footballer of the Year Robert Lewandowski and goalkeeping legend Iker Casillas. Organised under the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiative, this year’s conference is being held at Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa under the theme ‘Football at the Top’.

Infantino has been a regular guest at the conference and has featured in six previous editions since his first appearance in 2011, when he addressed the conference as Secretary General of Uefa.

As a candidate for the Fifa presidency in 2016, Infantino used the platform of the annual event to present his manifesto along with his vision and plans for the development of international football.