According to a leading cardioologist, the recent spate of prominent heart issues and collapses in professional footballers is likely to have been a coincidence rather than indicating that players are having difficulty coping with high-intensity play.
Three football players have been hospitalized after becoming ill while playing matches or training.
Charlie Wyke of Wigan, a Wigan striker, fell in training. John Fleck from Sheffield United, a 30-year-old, also collapsed while on pitch at Reading. AdamaTraore 25, who was playing against Real Madrid in Champions League, went down clutching the chest.
John Fleck, a Sheffield United midfielder was admitted to the hospital following he collapsing while pitchside.
The cause of the collapses is being investigated. Sergio Aguero (Barcelona striker), 33, suffered from chest pains during a draw against Alaves. Emil Palsson (Icelandic midfielder) needed to be resuscitated after suffering a cardiac arrest last October.
This incident comes on top of Christian Eriksen’s heart attack in Euro 2020, which led to the sad collapse of Denmark’s midfielder Christian Eriksen.
Guido Pieles, the Director of the Sports Cardiology Clinic of the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health, stated that there is no evidence of heart disease in footballers and that any group of events is just a coincidence.
Adama Traore, Sheriff Tiraspol, fell in the Champions League clutching onto his chest
Christian Eriksen, Denmark’s midfielder suffered cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 when he was playing against Finland
Professor Pieles said, “At this time I would say it is still a coincidence,” Sportmail.
It is not possible to say it’s suddenly on the rise, especially in football.
The most intensive and intense training is not for footballers. They train longer hours than endurance runners and Tour de France cyclists.
“It is impossible to say that they have trained more in the past year, two or three years than over the previous 10 years.
“The game has become faster and people have become more fit. The Premier League is where you’ve been playing since the age of seven to eight.
Sergio Aguero from Barcelona was struck by an illness on the pitch. Medical staff treated him.
To ensure their best protection, experts recommend that footballers, as well as elite athletes, undergo regular cardiac screenings throughout their careers.
According to the FA’s cardiologist, a cardiologist said that players between the ages of 15 and 16 should be screened as sudden cardiac arrest rates are highest in the age group of 16-18. Sportmail.
“But, I believe that we should do it more often. Screening players in their 20s is essential.
“Diseases could occur during the last 20 years of an athlete’s playing career.” Intermittent screening should be done.
Sudden cardiac arrest may occur when a player suffers from an underlying condition. While most of these problems can be detected through screening, some issues might go undiagnosed.
Charlie Wyke is a Wigan forward. He was pictured in action against Solihull on November 16, 2016. He is currently in stable condition, according to the club.
Myocarditis is also a condition that causes inflammation in the heart. This can happen after an infection or exercise.
Prof Pieles claimed that FA’s cardiac screening program was one of the most advanced in football. It is also very efficient.
“Compared with other associations, the FA has an amazing screening program. We are quite advanced. For the first four leagues, it is quite a demanding program.
“This is the best professional football has to offer.
The FA mandates screening and clubs are responsible for it. The scans are reviewed by experts. The scans are mandatory for those over 16 years old, and is recommended for people older than that.
Sergio Aguero is a Barcelona striker. He has been diagnosed at 33 with heart issues.
An electrocardiogram is used to screen top club players. It also monitors the electrical activity and cardiac rhythm. A heart ultrasound scan is performed to check the health of the player. This isn’t always the case in the lower levels of the leagues.
Prof Pieles is also a consultant to several of Europe’s top clubs like Manchester United.
Professor Pieles, along with other cardiologists who collaborate with the FA found that six footballers died from sudden cardiac arrest since 1996 when English football began its screening program.
These players were all screened around 15-16 years old, and died seven years later.
The expert stated that it was impossible for us to assure that players who have been screened before 16 will continue their normal lives at 29. We recommend longitudinal screening because some diseases can develop in late 20s and 30s.
Eriksen was receiving treatment on the pitch when his teammates created a shield of human flesh around him.
“This depends on the clubs. Clubs make every effort to ensure that this happens, however it can vary. To make screening easier and more frequent, I believe that more education is possible.
A cardiologist says that clubs at the lowest level need to receive support to ensure that players are properly screened for their entire careers.
Prof Pieles said that while these tests do not cost a lot, the real value is in their practicality for teams playing in lower leagues.
It is harder. It is more difficult to collaborate with coaches and clubs. We must also have strategies that make the process better and easier.
Marc-Vivien Foe was a Manchester City midfielder who died playing for Cameroon.
He said that the strategy must be put into practice by all government bodies. It is difficult for fourth-tier clubs to carry out cardiac screening. The staff is less, so the setup and strategy must be embedded.
Fabrice Muamba’s tragic death in March 2003, when he was playing for Bolton at Tottenham, will mark 10 years. However, the 33-year old said that recent events have shown how much work remains.
Muamba explained that “there’s a complacency around it. It’s a highly publicized incident that we talk about and assume is solved.
“We should be the best of all fit. It can happen to anyone.
Wigan have yet to reveal what happened to their player. The former Sunderland forward collapsed during a session as the League One team prepared to face Cambridge United, who they drew 2-2 with on Tuesday night.
Wigan stated that Wyke was taken to the hospital immediately after his collapse and is currently in stable condition.
Sheffield United’s player, Fleck, was released from hospital on Wednesday morning and headed back to Sheffield, where he will be monitored by the club after speaking clearly to medics and his family.
Fabrice Muamba collapsed in Bolton’s match against Spurs at White Hart Lane 2012
In Moldova, Traore committed to a 50/50 challenge on the touchline with Real Madrid’s Nacho Fernandez and when the ball went out of play the Tiraspol player appeared distressed.
Traore turned in order to leave the ball that had been out for a throw, at 77 minutes. Traore immediately felt uneasy and clutched his chest before laying on the ground.
He was able to breathe throughout, but the medics were quick to get him up and moving.
After a few questions from the medics, he began shaking his head. He eventually settled down and was helped to the ground.
Cheick Tiote, a former Newcastle midfielder, died after suffering cardiac arrest while training for Beijing Enterprises Club.
Cardiac arrest in players is nothing new. Former West Ham and Manchester City midfielder, Marc-Vivien Foe, died at 28 while playing for Cameroon in 2003 and ex-Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote collapsed and died aged 30, while training with the Beijing Enterprises Group in 2017.
It’s not just elite athletes who suffer from this condition. Dylan Rich (17 years old), a talented and popular left-winger with West Bridgford Colts died in September after suffering a cardiac arrest at an FA Youth Cup match in Nottinghamshire.
Bolton Wanderers’ Fabrice Muamba in 2012 and Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas in 2019 are among those to have had lucky escapes.