ZURICH: A proposal for trials of an electronic chip, which provides an early-warning alert for the health of a player during a game, is to be considered by the law-making International Football Association Board at next month’s  annual meeting in Edinburgh.

Chips contained in a shirt’s collar would allow for data feedback such as heart performance, body temperature and distance covered by the player. It might help in incidents similar to that of Fabrice Muamba, the former Bolton midfielder who was forced to retire after suffering a near-fatal heart attack during an FA Cup tie at Tottenham Hotspur in March last year.

The laws of the game ban electronic communication between players and coaching staff in the technical area but calls to introduce health monitoring devices have increased after a number of the Muamba and recent high-profile medical incidents on the pitch.

IFAB comprises the Football Associations from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and FIFA, which has a balancing four votes.

SFA chief  executive Stuart Regan said: “There is a chip in the shirt at the back of the player’s neck and the data is fed back into a laptop. These chips can monitor heart performance, distance run, changes in a person’s body functions, and what’s operating differently to how it was in the first-half.

“We are looking at whether there are medical benefits, such as whether it can warn of problems such as Fabrice Muamba suffered, which would make it a no brainer for this to come in. We are trying to consider whether or not things can make a positive difference in the game rather than just another example of technology being brought in.”

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Friday, February 15, 2013

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