Players taking part in UEFA EURO 2008™ next summer will be required to take cardiac tests before the tournament in the wake of recent tragic incidents. The UEFA Executive Committee agreed to this proposal on the second day of its meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Following the recent deaths of players' at matches as a result of cardiac problems, UEFA's supreme executive body, chaired by UEFA President Michel Platini, agreed to the move following a report from the UEFA Medical Committee. "We will be requiring players of all teams to undergo mandatory cardiological screening prior to taking part in the competition," said UEFA General Secretary David Taylor.
"Everybody in football is concerned that all possible precautions are taken in terms of the medical well-being of players competing at high levels of competition," he added. "We will also require a team doctor to be on the bench at all [UEFA] EURO 2008™ matches. It has been a common practice for team doctors to sit on the bench, but it has not been a regulatory requirement. We want to make sure this is now clear by being in the regulations.
"If something was found [when a player was tested], the person responsible is, in fact, the team doctor of the national association concerned, because the screening would be conducted via the national association's own procedures, and the team doctor has to sign off whether the player has passed the examination or not," Mr Taylor explained. "The responsibility does not lie with UEFA directly, and we would expect this system to work perfectly."
The Executive Committee has also agreed in principle to allow the use of giant screens within the stadium at UEFA EURO 2008™ matches to show the games live as they proceed. "This was agreed in principle, and the details remain to be worked out," said Mr Taylor. "This shows that we're trying to use technology and trying to enhance the fan experience at this magnificent tournament." This matter will be further studied and a report will be presented to the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Zagreb, Croatia on 30 January next year.
A series of decisions were also taken in the Futsal sector. The 2009 UEFA European Futsal Championship will take place in Hungary, the 2007/08 Futsal Cup finals will be staged by MFK Dinamo Moskva, and the inaugural UEFA European Futsal Under-21 Championship, being staged on a test basis, will be held in St Petersburg (Russia) in 2008. Finally, Denmark has been designated as host association for the UEFA Congress on 24/25 March 2009.
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