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FIFA says World Cup heart tests a must

FIFA's chief medical officer said on Monday that all World Cup players will undergo extensive new pre-tournament cardiovascular tests but any decision to sideline anyone rests solely with the teams.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2006 01:24 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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FIFA's chief medical officer said on Monday that all World Cup players will undergo extensive new pre-tournament cardiovascular tests but any decision to sideline anyone rests solely with the teams.

Jiri Dvorak told a news conference after meetings with the medical directors of all 32 teams coming to Germany for the June 9-July 9 tournament that FIFA wants to increase awareness and prevention of ailments that can lead to severe injury or death.

"It is not up to us as the organisers of the tournament to intervene in the diagnosis and treatment," Dvorak said.

"We cannot take over the responsibility of the doctors. What we will demand of the federations is that they examine their players and confirm the player is in good physical condition. It's up to the federations to decide whether a player is fit."

He said FIFA, which hopes the test will help prevent cardiac arrest or even death as happened in the 2003 Confederations Cup, will not publish any of the health warnings or medical details on any player because of doctor-patient confidentiality rules.

"We as an institution cannot interfere with a contract between a physician and a player," said Dvorak.

"FIFA can advise and educate but will not interfere. Our aim is to raise awareness for physicians so that they take their decisions."

There have been several deaths related to heart ailments recently. Cameroon's Marc-Vivien Foe collapsed and died in Confederations Cup match in 2003. Miklos Feher of Benfica died in 2004 and Hugo Cunha of Uniao Leiria in 2005.

First Published: Mar 07, 2006 01:24 IST