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‘Eriksen incident lesson to Malawi’

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The football fraternity was on Friday greeted with great news that Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen had been discharged from hospital after successful operation.

Eriksen collapsed during a European Championship game between Denmark and Finland at Parken Park in Copenhagen.

The match was suspended for more than one hour before play resumed. Finland won the match 1-0.

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It was a wake-up call for the football fraternity across the world.

While there is great news that the player is alive, there are fears if such incident happened in Malawi where lack of proper medics at football matches is the order of the day.

It is a fact that football administrators including Football Association of Malawi (Fam) and Super League of Malawi treat the issue of medics at football venues with kid gloves.

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The Eriksen incident should be a lesson to Malawi football that proper medical equipment is a must at football venues.

Christian Eriksen

Sports analyst, George Kaudza-Masina said it will be a disaster if a similar situation happens in Malawi.

“The unfortunate part is that our FA and Sulom are not serious when it comes to health of our players and the same with our clubs. Matches are played without proper first aid facilities and medical equipment. Not even ambulances at match venues which is a requirement,” Kaudza- Masina said.

“Worse still our players are not physically examined regularly and not even before the commencement of the league. As such, time has come to revisit the way team doctors are appointed and the necessary equipment we needed to avoid deaths of our players during training and games.”

Some years ago, former Bata Big Bullets (now Nyasa Big Bullets) midfielder John Banda died during a social football match in Lilongwe after he collapsed.

Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda said the association knows the importance of having proper medical equipment at football matches.

“Under club licensing one of the criterion for clubs to satisfy is have a trained medical personnel on the technical team. This is critical for first instance medical assessment of situations when they occur,” Gunda said.

“We also ensure first aiders are available at matches. One of the motivations for entering into partnership with Masm is also to get medical evacuation support when emergency situations arise.”

Sulom chairperson, Tiya Somba-Banda also concurred with Gunda saying Masm ambulances always have proper equipment.

“The ambulances are available at a minimum at a game in each region,” he said.

Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) board Chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise said the incident of Eriksen should be a lesson to Malawi.

Eriksen, formerly of Tottenham Spurs, who is now playing for Italian champions Inter Milan needed to be resuscitated with a defibrillator.

According to international media, he was fitted an ICD -implantable cardioverter defibrillator – which Danish team doctor Morten Boesen said it was “necessary due to rhythm disturbances.”

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