PSL reveals medical process

2012-03-20 17:57

Johannesburg - English footballer Fabrice Muamba's on-field cardiac arrest during a match has led South Africa's top league to reveal its medical process to prevent players from taking the field with undiagnosed heart problems.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) clarified its rules on Tuesday after saying it had been "inundated" with questions following the Bolton midfielder's collapse in the FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham on Saturday.

Players in South Africa must undergo heart checks in a medical examination before each season, the PSL said, and anyone transferring between teams midseason must undergo a new medical.

Muamba's condition has improved but he is still in intensive care in a London hospital after his heart stopped beating during the game. He began breathing on his own on Monday, the hospital said.

Medics tried to resuscitate Muamba at the ground after he collapsed face down on the pitch in the first half at White Hart Lane.

The incident has led to an outpouring of support for the 23-year-old Congo-born player and is likely to cause many leagues to review their procedures for detecting and reacting to heart problems.

England's Premier League has already begun looking at possible improvements to testing and treatment, even though the emergency staff at Tottenham have been praised for their work.

Besides preseason testing, South Africa's PSL said match officials will meet before every game to review details of ambulances and other emergency vehicles at stadiums, the qualifications of medical staff and the location of the nearest hospital on standby.

"Our approach is multifaceted, including prevention, reaction and financial support," the PSL said.

Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe collapsed and died in a 2003 Confederations Cup game in France, while Hungary striker Miklos Feher and Sevilla defender Antonio Puerta both died after suffering a heart attack in a game.

Last year, Japan international Naoki Matsuda died after suffering a cardiac arrest during training.


  • Hugo - 2012-03-20 18:46


  • Bruce - 2012-03-20 19:10

    A bit of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted!

  • Grant - 2012-03-20 19:32

    My elder son is a professional personal trainer and he said once that sportsmen who over do steroids can have heart attacks as they over train and strain the heart. Maybe sportsmen should be tested for steroids more often. He also said pharmaceutical companies know full well that steroids are being abused as they sell well over a thousand times more than would be needed for medical purposes. This is just financial greed.

  • Fernando - 2012-03-20 20:15

    well, thats a good for the psl... i also agree with Grant, the testing of steroids should be done more often. I may not know how much it costs for the testing, but the testing should be there to prevent such things that happened to Muamba.

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