Football

Football association to study why ACL injuries are more common in Female footballers

The Football Association is conducting an investigation in a bid to halt the number of ACL(anterior cruciate ligament) injuries among female footballers.

Twelve players in the top two tiers of English Women’s football have suffered ACL injuries this term while research has suggested that women are up to eight times more likely to suffer the injury than men.

Arsenal duo Jordan Nobbs and Danielle Carter have also sustained the injury in their successful careers so far.

Nobbs told the BBC before the World Cup of which she was ruled out in that she believes there is a link between ACL injuries and menstrual cycles.

The FA says the results will be “carefully assessed over time”.

It says the audit, which is in its “early stages”, will be conducted by “a group of experts from institutions involved in producing research around female athletes and/or women’s football”.

It added: “We will then be able to assess any trends with particular injuries, including ACL injuries. We can then analyse rates of injuries, comparing to previous audits in men’s and women’s football and other sports.”

Chelsea and Bristol City became the first clubs in the world to tailor their training programme around players’ menstrual cycles in an attempt to enhance performance and cut down on injuries.

The Robins had conducted more research into the menstrual cycle and why it is connected to ACL injuries but that is currently on hold due to the coronavirus crises.

Manchester City, who have defender Aoife Mannion sidelined after suffering a cruciate injury while playing in the Champions League last October against Atletico Madrid are also believed to be engaged in studies surrounding ACL injuries.

The FA will also conduct research to “understand” the demands of the WSL and Women’s Championship and the “the physical characteristics that underpin” them.

In addition to ACL-specific studies, The Telegraph also revealed the FA is widening its research to explore other key issues affecting female players in the game today.

Relative energy deficiency in sport, a syndrome found in sportswomen who have symptoms of disordered eating, absent periods and loss of bone density will be among other topics examined.

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