Medical Committee Member for the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Dr Prince Pambo has warned players that they could be at a higher risk of cardiac arrest if they contract the novel coronavirus.
Dr Pambo was reacting to efforts made by Ghana Football Association (GFA) to restart the Ghana Premier League in the country which has been suspended since March 16, 2019.
Earlier this month, GFA tabled a proposal to the government to ease coronavirus restrictions to enable the league’s return.
Government is considering the proposal with the Deputy Sports Minister, Perry Okudzeto revealed on JoyNews adding that a decision would be communicated in due course.
However, Dr Pambo, also a former member of the GFA Medical Committee, is not in support of the GFA. According to him, football should only return at zero-risk to those involved.
He first highlighted the need for players to undertake a medical assessment because of the stretched period of inactivity.
“What we from CAF have proposed is that you have to do a comprehensive pre-competition medical assessment. Mind you, these players have been out of sports for over two months,” he told host Emefa Apawu on Beyond The Lockdown May 24.
“This is not a normal break. When the players come home from major seasons and they are home, they have times to go to the gyms, they have time to play some games and they train here and there. So by the time the league starts, they go for a two-week pre-season and they are good.
In this particular instance, they are home and they are not able to train well”
Pambo, who is also a specialist in sports medicine stated that players who contract the virus may be at a higher risk of cardiac arrest once they start playing once again.
“Scientific research proves and confirms that any player who has contracted COVID-19 and gotten treated, that player stands a higher risk of suffering a cardiac arrest during play.”
Going forward, Pambo asked all sports players to be proactive and demand for full medical assessments before agreeing to return to play.
“We the medics in sports have now focused our attention on the pre-competition medical assessment which has to be done before allowing these players to play. Every sports person has the right to demand that comprehensive medicals will be done before playing”
“It will cost a minimum of $150 dollars to do this for one player. If each club registers 30 players, we are looking at $4,500 dollars for each club. This means that a lot has to be done before we can get our game back,” he added