Nigeria has the highest number of football players in Africa with a total of 6,653,710 players. Due to the fast pace and semi-contact nature of football, injuries are regular occurrences. In view of this, it is necessary to examine the risk factors and severity of injuries among Nigerian male professional and national football league players.
Material and method. Two hundred and sixty six (266) registered male players in the South-West zone of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and the Nigeria National League (NNL) for the 2013/2014 season were involved in this study (i.e. 40 from NPFL and 226 from NNL). Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to the participants to obtain information on the demographic data, severity of injury and potential risk factors of injury. Chi - square test was used to evaluate the association between the risk factors of injury and occurrence of lower extremity injuries. The level of significance was set at p<0.05. Results. This study revealed an overall injury prevalence of 18.7%. Based on the time lost to injury, most (28, 58.2%) of the players with injury, reported to have severe injuries with more of the injuries occurring at the knee joints (20, 31.7%). Out of the risk factors assessed, there was a significant association between the category of play and occurrence of injury. Conclusion. Players in the NPFL and NNL are exposed to severe injuries which often affects the knee joint. Various strategies for injury prevention should be implemented by team managers.
football players, injuries, risk factors of injury
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