Iran’s Haratian proud of appointing ACL medical officer

TEHRAN, Dec. 14 (MNA) – Dr. Zohre Haratian, AFC and FIFA medical and doping control officer, who has been in Qatar since the beginning of the AFC Champions League East Zone competitions, is proud of being appointed as the first women Medical Officer.

Dr. Haratian, along with Dr. Bahar Hassanmirzaei from Iran, Dr. Janis Ann Figueroa Espino-De Vera from the Philippines, and Dr. Liesel Geertsema from New Zealand, made history by becoming the first women Medical Officers to be appointed in an AFC men’s club competition.

In an exclusive interview with Tehran Times, Haratian talked about her new experience.

“I’ve worked as the FIFA doping control officer since 2011 and have been in six different FIFA World Cup competitions including 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 editions of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, and also in the qualifying round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup that I was the FIFA control doping officer in the match between Iran and China at Azadi Stadium. So, I’ve already had the experience of working in men’s events held by FIFA. But the AFC had never appointed women as medical officers in men’s competitions, and it was the first time that it happened. Due to my experience working in the forefront battling against the COVID-19 and my other medical backgrounds, I was invited to these competitions,” Haratian said.

Haratian is also head of Iran football Medical Assessment and Rehabilitation Center (IFMARC), approved by FIFA as FIFA Medical Center of excellence since 2015.

“Given the fact that IFMARC controls and oversees all the medical issues of Iran Professional League (IPL), the job is so challenging, and the decisions are so important. For someone like me, who works with a big and challenging organization such as the men’s football league, doing international duties is not that much difficult. Obviously, the experiences you gain in league competitions will help you to keep yourself up to date to handle domestic and international duties in the best way possible,” she explained.

Regarding Qatar's health and safety procedures, Dr. Haratian said, “The level of screening and safety protocols conducted by Qatari officials are great and perfect. During the past month that I’ve been in Doha, we were never allowed to step out of our hotel, and we can just go to the venues and come back to the designated hotel. Besides, multiple tests are conducted once every three or four days, begun before the teams' arrival and continued during their presence in competitions,” Haratian went on to say.

When asked about the safety and health points that can be used in the Iranian domestic competitions, she said, “It's undeniable that we have learned lots of valuable lessons from the high standards of safety and health set in the AFC Champions League matches. However, due to the fact that we restarted the previous season of IPL and finished it, and then started the new season during the coronavirus pandemic, I can proudly say that we have done an excellent and acceptable job considering the difficult condition of the league matches. You should consider that the AFC Champions League matches are held in a centralized format, but the Iran league games are in home and away format.”

“I’m thrilled that an Iranian woman is among the first lady doctors who participate in a men’s tournament in Asia. I hope that it paves the way for other Iranian women who are experts in sports medicine issues. I’ll do my best to be a good representative for my country and make it possible for other women to take another step forward in football. I think our women should boost their self-confidence to be more active in this field and to show their abilities,” Haratian concluded.

First Time Published in Tehran Times.

News Code 167178


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