EDINBURGH: The possibility of allowing players to wear heart monitors during games is to be studied by the law-making International Board writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The proposal was put forward by the Scottish Football Association in the wake of the case of Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba, forced to retire after having suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch last year.

IFAB, at its annual meeting, referred the issue to a study group including doctors, coaches and former players.

The SFA had suggested trials of an electronic chip in players’ shirts which could warn of medical problems. The data from the chip – such as distance run and body function changes – would be fed back to a laptop monitored by medical staff and coaches.

Electronic communication is permitted between referees and assistants but not between players and staff is currently banned. Some clubs use GPS tracking devices and body sensors during training to assess performance.

The SFA proposal would extend their use to competitive fixtures.

SFA chief executive Stuart Regan said: “I think any information provided about a player’s heart rate in a live match situation can only be useful.

“We don’t know if a system like this could have prevented a Fabrice Muamba-type situation, but certainly providing coaches and doctors with real-time information we believe is a significant step forward.”

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