According to the recent theories, experts have come upon a knowledge that the reason behind the death of footballers is that their heart stops beating is higher than then relied upon thought. The study, in the New England Journal of Medicine, comes from over two decades of data on 11,168 youth players in the UK.

 

There have been high-profile deaths, including that of Marc-Vivien Foe while playing for Cameroon aged 28. Former England defender Ugo Ehiogu, who was a Spurs coach, died last year aged 44.

Doctors said,“there was a duty to protect players. Diseases that affect the heart muscle – cardiomyopathies – are silent killers. The first symptom can be the heart suddenly stopping. The dangers are higher in elite athletes because taxing the heart can trigger their underlying disease”.

Cardiologist Prof Sanjay Sharma, who led the research at St George’s, University of London, told BBC News, “It means we need to open our eyes to the fact death rates are higher than we thought, although they are still rare”.

Prof Sharma said,“England’s Football Association had already introduced additional screening at ages 18, 20 and 25”.He added, “It’s very difficult for a young kid who’s dreamt of this and has done nothing but play football since the age of eight or nine. We have to be extremely honest and say there is a risk of sudden death and the death rate is low but we can’t predict it. If we’re asking young people to push themselves beyond their limit to entertain us and be role models for our youth, we have some duty to be protective”.

Estimates had put the figure at less than two in every 100,000 players but this analysis says the figure is higher – seven in every 100,000 players

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