UNDER the directives of Rwanda Football Federation, all footballers from the 14 top-flight division league clubs will have to undergo medical check-ups before the 2013/14 National Football season kicks off on September 21.
The development comes after the federation sealed a partnership deal with Kigali Military Hospital on Wednesday to conduct medical examinations on all the players.
Col. Dr Ben Karenzi, head of Kanombe Military Hospital, said, “We are glad that we will be coordinating the screening with Rwanda Football Federation. We have the capacity to do a comprehensive medical check-up for all the players in a single day.”
“We intended to carry out several cardiac check-ups, complete physical evaluation and ascertain if each of them is in good health to take part in the league next season without any complications,” added Karenzi.
Ferwafa chairman Celestin Ntagungira said that the medical test is a vital component in certifying a player’s health.
The partnership comes six months after FIFA sent sudden cardiac arrest emergency bags to all its football federation affiliates.
In the decade since Marc-Vivien Foe’s death, F-MARC, the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre, has worked together with the world’s leading researchers in sports medicine to introduce new measures to tackle sudden cardiac arrest.
Medical examinations are now conducted prior to all FIFA competitions for all players and referees to help identify those who are predisposed towards cardiac issues.
The high cases of sudden cardiac arrests and subsequent deaths in recent years, as well as high-profile cases such as English club Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba who collapsed on the pitch during a game in March before subsequently recovering days later.