Foé tragedy prompts Fifa to monitor hearts of World Cup squads

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The Independent Football

Every player going to the World Cup will be checked for possible heart defects, the medical chief of football's world governing body, Fifa, announced yesterday.

All members of the 32 squads will have cardiovascular and electrocardiogram tests to try to avoid any repeat of the tragedy when Cameroon's Marc-Vivien Foé collapsed and died during the 2003 Confederations Cup semi-final.

Fifa's chief medical officer, Professor Jiri Dvorak, also said all team doctors will be given first-aid defibrillators and trained to use them in case of sudden cardiac arrest by players, officials or spectators.

England are to play a friendly against the Netherlands on 15 November at Ajax's Amsterdam ArenA and that will end England's international year.

The Scottish Cup semi-final between Hearts and Hibernian will be played at Hampden Park on 2 April. The Jambos had requested the use of Murrayfield and the Scottish Rugby Union offered the stadium. But the Hibernian manager, Tony Mowbray, questioned the neutrality of the Edinburgh ground after Hearts played Uefa Cup games there in 2005.

The Hibernian striker Garry O'Connor has thanked the club for allowing him to move to Lokomotiv Moscow. The Scotland international has flown to Spain to join his new team-mates, who are in pre-season training. The 22-year-old passed a medical last week and, once remaining documentation is completed today, will sign on in a £1.6m deal.

O'Connor's agent, Gary Mackay, said: "Garry is delighted that he has been given this opportunity and cannot thank everyone at Hibernian enough for the part they have played in his footballing development."