Mourinho to thank for rapid response at the Lane

 

Fabrice Muamba's heart failure on the White Hart Lane pitch has revealed the near impossibility of predicting every such catastrophe. It occurred despite every professional player undergoing annual heart screenings since a series of deaths in the early 1990s.

The Professional Footballers' Association, which has funded the screening regime run in conjunction with the FA since 1992, said yesterday that heart defects had been detected and treated in four players in recent years, though Muamba's case reveals that there can be no guarantees. "It's not always possible to pick up every problem," said PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor.

The PFA has engaged the eminent cardiologist Dr Len Shapiro, of Papworth Hospital, near Cambridge, to ensure that players are screened for the kind of problems which killed schoolboy player John Marshall the day before he was due to sign for Everton in 1995.

The death of Terry Yorath's son, Daniel, in 1992 as well as York City's David Longhurst in 1990 were instrumental in the PFA seeking to grasp the issue. But the lack of guarantees was revealed in the death of the former Wales and Swansea City player Robbie James, who collapsed while playing for Llanelli in 1998 after what was later found to be the most common heart defect, cardiomyopathy. Anton Reid, a 16-year-old with Walsall, died during a training session in 2007 and Motherwell's Phil O'Donnell died during a game against Dundee United the same year.

The heart screening regime, now a part of Uefa rules, also includes cardio-pulmonary respiration tests, run through the Royal College of Surgeons. There are negatives attached to the system: defects have on occasions meant a club deciding to part company with a young player, or a player's parents being deeply opposed to him continuing in the sport, if a defect is found. The PFA view is that no risk can be taken.

Though there was a sense of desperation at the PFA yesterday that another player had gone undetected, the speed with which Muamba was dealt with on the White Hart Lane turf reveals how the system has been improved since Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho complained bitterly about the treatment of Petr Cech after the head injury he sustained against Reading at the Madejski Stadium in 2006.

Mourinho's claim that "my goalkeeper was in the dressing room for 30 minutes waiting for an ambulance" prompted an official complaint by the club to the Football Association and Premier League and led to the league's stipulation that an ambulance be located at grounds for exclusive use of players. Since then, the home club must also have available defibrillators and other medical equipment.

The Premier League yesterday said that its rules also stipulate that all players must undergo annual medical examinations which would lead to follow-up cardiac analysis if anything showed up. All players who train with England representative teams must also undergo cardiac screening. Muamba represented England at Under-16, 17, 18, 19 and Under-21 level.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering