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Following several incidents including the death of ex-national player Kevon Carter, Fifa together with the University of Saarland in Germany have started work on a register of cases of sudden deaths, that involved footballers.

The study is aimed at systematising the most common causes of such tragic incidents. According to the plan, the register will help clarify regional differences in the causes of footballers’ sudden death, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.

On March 30, during a Ukrainian football championship match between Dnipro (Dnipropetrovsk) and Dynamo (Kiev), the captain of the latter, Oleg Gusev, got a cerebrocranial injury and a jaw fracture. That happened after a collision with the goalkeeper of Dnipro, after which Gusev fell unconscious.

Dnipro’s midfielder, Jaba Kankava, was the first one to run up to the injured player and save his life.

And FIFPro, the representative body of footballers worldwide, have joined the efforts for improved medical assessments.

“FIFPro urgently requests international and national football authorities to make it mandatory for all professional clubs worldwide to submit their players to a thorough heart-related pre-competition medical assessment (PCMA), in an attempt to do the utmost to protect professional footballers from sudden cardiac death,” a FIFPro statement read.

Every year, footballers die as a result of heart problems. In some cases, their lives might have been saved if they had been submitted to a thorough cardiac assessment, states Dr Vincent Gouttebarge, FIFPro Chief Medical Officer.

FIFPro added, “Perhaps Akeem Adams would still be alive if he had been examined better.”

Ricardo Moniz has expressed doubts about the quality of the heart-related PCMA the player underwent before signing for the Hungarian club

For FIFPro, the death of Adams is reason to review critically the heart-related PCMA. Dr Gouttebarge concludes that the validity and quality of the PCMA usually applied nowadays has been a subject of discussion in the medical world for many years.

The death of Akeem Adams demonstrates yet again that it is extremely desirable to take the criticism seriously and improve the current heart-related PCMA.