Crisis– Going home after the day job, I had to stay back at the field, across the road watching the street guys playing bear footed catching their fun until a driver driving a 2016 BMW with a tinted glass, drove pass by disturbing the flow of play on the field, all of a sudden the ball was being played angrily into the windscreen and crashed the glass.

Both the driver and other passengers came down with their faced squeezed ready to devour the culprit. Musa one of the footballer shouted in pidgin “you no know say them no dey pass here, why you one con disturb us.”

All of a sudden, one of the passengers immediately slapped Musa and the rest of the guys who were playing football surrounded both the driver and other occupants of the car.

Lagos was known for its last Saturday monthly environmental exercises but boys from the hood turned the exercise into a moment of football event which was being played across the street bear footed.

We were not interested in the cleaning exercise during the last Saturday the boys as we were then were interested in playing football.

Little did we know that we were hurting ourselves, playing without boots on and no chin-guard to protect our knees.

The fat boys were always at the goal post covering for us, while we play trying to defend our post. The owner of the ball decides who plays and no matter how many goals you score, the winner will be determined by the last team to score.

Aside that we all had serious injury where our toes were being chipped off when playing the ball into the center half of the field.
Growing up for any young boy in Nigeria is not complete if he doesn’t have a tale or two to tell about his many adventures on the beautiful game of street soccer within its locality.

Most developing societies, such as Nigeria, the beautiful game isn’t confined to the stadium only: from city roads to markets to beneath giant flyovers, football belongs everywhere.

Nigerians love the game and they will do everything they can to showcase their love, right from a tender age.

From going through immense physical and financial stress just to watch their favorite footballers on television, they also actively play the game especially on the streets.

In every street or, there is usually an undeveloped plot of land utilized as a makeshift football pitch. Some are even named after the big stadiums in Europe like San Siro, Maracanã etc. Even if street football is not has its use to be back then, this is why its’ interesting to remember the good old days when street football ruled the world.

it’s difficult today for youngsters to have a pick-up game since the streets have too many cars, the sand lot now has a shops or building constructed on it  and parents are reluctant, with good cause, to let their child go blocks away from home on Saturday, even on holidays  to play in a game on his or her own.


Adults will be on site for safety and general supervision, but otherwise it is all up to the players to organize the games.


The coaches are on site not to take charge, but to supervise, be on hand for any serious injuries and any severe discipline problems.


Street soccer provides the possibility of mixing playing levels, genders and age groups. It can be used to assist with player’s development, player identification and player selection. Mostly it is a chance for players to play the game for the Fun of the game.


The Street soccer game brings together children, parents, coaches and volunteers to a soccer celebration, regardless of ethnic or cultural backgrounds. Soccer is the common language and the soccer ground is an arena for social inclusion.


Referees are not needed, since these rules are meant to teach self-responsibility and fair play, with the implied agenda of improving the player’s competences in non-violent communication and conflict resolution.


Speaking with a Lagos resident, Abayomi Abiodun, he affirmed that street soccer back in the days were played just to catch their fun during.


“We were not concern with whatever injuries we had, all we need to do was to make sure we were at alert whenever the police were around for us not to be caught. Injuries were emerging   and whenever it occurs we just go home for treatment or we stay off the field for somebody else to come in.

There was no First Aid Treatment on the field on that what applied was iodine with cotton wool attached to it” he said.




Research shows that most street soccer injuries are caused by trauma, such as a collision with an opponent or landing awkwardly from a jump. Approximately one quarter to one third of all street soccer injuries are due to overuse and develop over a period of time.


During sprinting activities in street soccer, the Hamstring muscles can be forcibly stretched beyond their limits and the muscle tissue can be torn. A tear in a muscle is referred to as a strain and, depending on its severity, it is classified as a first, second or third degree strain.

PREVENTING HARMSTRING INJURY                                                                                   A warm up, prior to matches and training, is thought to decrease muscle injuries in street soccer  because the muscle is more extensible when the tissue temperature has been increased by one or two degrees. A good warm up should last at least 20 minutes – starting gently and finishing at full pace activity.


The immediate treatment of any muscle injury consists of the RICE protocol – rest, ice and compression and elevation (never apply ice directly to the skin). All injuries should be reviewed by a doctor or physiotherapist. Depending upon the severity of the Hamstring injury, the leg must be rested from sporting activity for between a couple of weeks and 3 months.


A sprained ankle is one of the most common injuries in football. It refers to soft tissue damage (mainly ligaments) around the ankle, usually caused when the ankle is twisted inwards

As well as damage to the ligaments, the capsule which surrounds the ankle joint can also be damaged. The damage causes bleeding within the tissues, which produces a swollen ankle and ankle pain.


Taping and bracing the ankle can help to reduce the risk of ankle sprains. Previous research has shown the injury incidence in people with taped ankles was 4.9 ankle sprains per 1000 participant games, compared with 2.6 ankle sprains per 1000 participant games in subjects wearing ankle braces. This compared with 32.8 ankle sprains per 1000 participant games in subjects that had no taping or bracing.

Rehabilitation with a physiotherapist significantly improves the level of ankle function. The use of an Ankle Brace is a convenient alternative to taping the ankle.


In the first few days following an ankle sprain it is important to follow the PRICE protocol protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation (never apply ice directly to the skin). The Aircast Ankle Cryocuff is the most effective method of providing ice therapy and is the professional’s choice. It can provide continuous ice cold water and compression for 6 hours and significantly reduce ankle pain and swelling.

Alternatively if you have to apply ice at home, the use of an Ice Bag is recommended. This is a safe method of ice application to avoid the risk of an ice burn.



A torn cartilage occurs fairly frequently in street soccer. Cartilage tears accounted for 12% of all Premiership injuries in the 2004/2005 Analysis of Injuries. The term cartilage tear is slightly misleading, since it is the meniscus within the knee that is actually damaged. There are two menisci within each knee joint that are made from tough fibrocartilage – hence the use of the term cartilage for this injury.

As the knee joint bends the thigh bone usually rolls, spins and glides on the top surface of the shin bone. However, if there is rotation caused by a twist whilst the joint is bearing weight, the menisci can get jammed and nipped in between the two bones. If the force is sufficient, a tear of the meniscus will occur.

Cartilage tears are usually accompanied by pain and knee swelling. If it is a small tear if may simply settle down. However, with larger cartilage tears, the flap of torn cartilage may interfere with joint movement and cause the knee point to lock or give way.


These injuries occur due to the positioning of the knee in a semi bent position while it is bearing weight. Having strong Quadriceps and Hamstring muscles that can deal with the strain on the knee joint may be helpful.


Cases of knee pain and knee swelling that are accompanied by locking and giving way should be assessed by a chartered physiotherapist or doctor. Small cartilage tears may settle with physiotherapy treatment, but more significant cartilage tears may require surgery.

Surgical removal of the torn fibrocartilage is known as a meniscectomy. This knee surgery is usually undertaken using an arthroscope a small camera that allows the surgeon to visualize the inside of the knee. The surgeon then uses a small burring device to trim away the torn cartilage. Following surgery, a period of 4 to 6 weeks physiotherapy is usually required.



Hernia and groin problems are common in sports, particularly in street soccer where the pelvic region is subject to large stresses during kicking, sprinting and turning. Two common conditions that affect footballers are an Inguinal Hernia and Gilmore’s Groin (also known as a Sports Hernia).

Following sporting activity the person with a sports hernia will be stiff and sore in the groin region. The day after a football match, getting out of bed or a car will be difficult. In the early stages, the person may be able to continue playing their sport, but the problem usually gets progressively worse.


Core Strength and Core Stability exercises can improve muscle function across the trunk and pelvis. This improved muscular strength and stability can help to counteract the large forces that are applied to the lower abdomen and pelvis. This can reduce the risk of developing a hernia.


Anyone with the signs and symptoms of a hernia should consult a hernia specialist. Because it requires an expert to diagnose a hernia it is not unusual for many weeks or months to pass before the correct diagnosis is made. In those people who have typical hernia symptoms an expert can confirm the diagnosis with physical tests and an ultrasound scan.

In most cases it is usually possible to continue playing football while wearing Warm Pants, until an opportune time can be arranged for surgery. The surgical treatment of hernias has been revolutionized over the past ten years. The world’s top hernia surgeons now perform hernia surgery under local anaesthetic. This has greatly accelerated the rehabilitation period.



The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) lies deep within the knee joint, connecting the thigh bone with the shin bone. Its function is to prevent excessive forward movement of the shin in relation to the thigh and also to prevent excessive rotation at the knee joint. The ACL can be injured in several different ways during football, most notably by landing from a jump onto a bent knee then twisting, or landing on a knee that is over-extended. Direct contact on the knee from opponents can also cause damage to the ACL.


Proprioception training using a wobble board is thought to be very effective in the prevention of knee ligament injuries, as well as during rehabilitation.

Wobble boards are designed to assist the re-education of the proprioceptive system by improving sensory function around the knee. Previous research has also shown that wobble board training improves single leg stance ability and balance, while other studies have suggested that patients who underwent wobble board training experienced significantly fewer knee ligament injuries.


All ACL injuries require the opinion of an orthopaedic consultant. During the immediate aftermath of an ACL injury the PRICE treatment protocol is most effective. This is an acronym for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

The injured tissues should be protected from further damage by using a knee brace.

Rest from sports is essential, but even excessive walking should be avoided.

The Aircast Knee Cryocuff is the most effective method of providing ice therapy and is the professional’s choice. It can provide continuous ice cold water and compression for 6 hours and significantly reduce knee pain and swelling.

If using ice, the use of an Ice Bag is recommended for its safe application to avoid the risk of cold burns.

Compression can be provided by the intermittent use of an Aircast Knee Cryocuff to reduce knee swelling and relieve pain.

To relieve knee pain and prevent knee swelling, the knee is elevated above waist height.