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Survey: There’s a sharp rise in depression symptoms among footballers since COVID-19 lockdown

Survey: There’s a sharp rise in depression symptoms among footballers since COVID-19 lockdown
April 20
21:53 2020

The number of footballers reporting symptoms of depression has doubled since stringent measures were taken across the world to curb the COVID-19 outbreak, a new survey has found.

According to the survey by FIFPro, world players’ union, and Amsterdam University Medical Centers, twenty-two percent of women players and 13 percent of men players reported symptoms consistent with depression.

The study was conducted between March 22, and April 14, among 1,602 professional footballers in countries that had enacted drastic measures, such as stay-at-home lockdowns.

The countries include Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States.


The figures were also compared to a separate survey of 307 players, between December 2019 and January 2020 — before the introduction of strict social distancing measures — in which 11 percent of the female players and six percent of the male players reported symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of depression.

Vincent Gouttebarge, FIFPro’s chief medical officer, said the findings were “still valid” despite the difference in sample size.

“These figures show there has been a sharp increase in players suffering from anxiety and depression symptoms since the coronavirus shut down professional football, and I fear that this is also the case for the whole of society facing an unprecedented emergency because of Covid-19,” he said.


“In football, suddenly young men and women athletes are having to cope with social isolation, a suspension of their working lives and doubts about their future.

“Some may not be well equipped to confront these changes and we encourage them to seek help from a person they trust or a mental health professional.”

About 75 percent of the players surveyed also disclosed that they had access to sufficient resources and support for their mental health.


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1 Comment

  1. Kayzier
    Kayzier April 20, 22:21

    Lovely read. Good research by the writer too.

    Reply to this comment

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