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Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2007, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Fifa to discuss cardiac testing
The late Chaswe Nsofwa
Nsofwa is one of three players who have collapsed and died recently
World football's governing body Fifa is to discuss the introduction of cardiac testing following the recent deaths of three young players.

Zambian international Chaswe Nsofwa collapsed during a training session in the southern Israeli town of Beersheba and died shortly afterwards, though the exact cause of death is not yet known.

In Spain, Sevilla player Antonio Puerta, 22, died on 28 August as a result of a weakness of the right ventricle, which is a common cause of sudden cardiac arrest among athletes.

"We know that thorough preventive examinations can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac arrest," said Fifa chief medical officer Professor Jiri Dvorak in March 2006.

'Obligatory programme'

Fifa logo
Fifa are to discuss introducing obligatory cardiac testing for players

His team developed preventive examinations that were used on all players during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

However, Dvorak has now said: "Since evaluating the data we have become more and more convinced of the general need to make this preventive programme obligatory."

Fifa will discuss the issue of implementing the programme at the next meeting of the Executive Committee in Zurich on 30-31 October.

Also in England, Walsall's 16-year-old youth player Anton Reid passed away after collapsing on the pitch.

'Cardiovascular tests'

Generally, the most common causes of sudden cardiac arrest can be identified in young athletes during thorough consultations that take family history into account and by conducting a physical examination.

In the build-up to the 2006 World Cup, concerns about player health and preventing such tragic incidents prompted the Fifa Sports Medical Committee to demand thorough cardiovascular tests.

SEE ALSO
Zambia mourns Nsofwa
30 Aug 07 |  African
Zambia's Nsofwa dies in Israel
29 Aug 07 |  African


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