Electronic monitors for every player can warn of heart problems that hit Fabrice Muamba

 

Football lawmakers' will be asked next month to allow trials of an electronic chip in players' shirts which could warn of medical problems such as the heart attack suffered by Bolton's Fabrice Muamba on the pitch.

The laws of the game currently ban any electronic communication between the players and staff in the technical area.

Now the International FA Board (IFAB), the body which draws up the laws, has been asked to consider making an exception for chips contained in the collar of a player's shirt which can feed back data such as heart performance, body temperature and the distance the player covers. The IFAB is made up of the four home nations, who have a vote each, and Fifa which has four votes. The issue is being brought before its annual meeting in Edinburgh on 3 March.

It is understood Fifa is wary about allowing the chips but Stewart Regan, chief executive of the Scottish FA, said it was a "no brainer" if there were medical benefits, especially if they could warn of problems similar to those experienced by Muamba.

Regan said: "These chips can monitor heart performance, distance run, changes in body functions. We are looking at whether it can warn of problems such as Muamba suffered, which would make it a no brainer."

The IFAB is likely to ask for a trial to take place before any permanent decision is made. Muamba collapsed during an FA Cup tie at Tottenham in March last year. His heart stopped for 78 minutes before doctors saved him.

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