Heart screening in England is inadequate, says Mancini

City manager responds to Muamba horror by saying medicals must be more rigorous
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The Independent Online

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said yesterday he will urge his club to pursue with the Premier League and Football Association his concerns about a medical screening system which he believes is an inadequate safeguard against the type of catastrophic heart failure which has left Fabrice Muamba fighting for life.

Muamba continued his tentative recovery at London's Chest Hospital yesterday but concerns over clubs' failure to put players through annual cardiological examinations, revealed in i yesterday, were echoed by Mancini, who said that he remained dissatisfied with the rigour of his own club's medical screening which – despite the sudden death of the club's Cameroonian midfielder Marc-Vivien Foé in an international nine years ago – he felt was inadequate from the moment he arrived at the club two years ago.

"I think here in England it is the best championship in the world, and everything is fantastic. But we need to improve the medicals for the players. We need to screen the players often, maybe two times a year, and more accurately. When I first saw our medicals two years ago, I was really worried. I said we need to do better in our medicals. It is not only after [Muamba's collapse on Saturday] but always. It is impossible that a young guy can die on the pitch because he didn't do a proper, accurate medical. I want all players to have more accurate medicals, not just once a year, but every six months. We do that in Italy and the medicals are really accurate. It is really important. What happened with Muamba and with other players in the past can't happen."

Mancini, whose side will seek to reduce Manchester United's four-point Premier League lead when they entertain Chelsea tonight, said he was concerned about the English system. He has expressed his concerns about City's regime to club doctor Dr Philip Batty. And although City do undertake heart scans every season – exceeding Uefa recommendations – the manager said he was still unhappy.

"My personal opinion is that I am not satisfied with this because the medicals are really light. I hope the club will speak with the [Premier League] and FA and it is the same for the other clubs."