AFCON 2021: ECA expresses concern over players safety and welfare

AFCON 2021: ECA expresses concern over players safety and welfare

The biennial competition kicks off in a month, but the European Club Association (ECA) is worried about players health

The ECA has expressed its concerns over players health and welfare ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on January 9 in Cameroon.

In a press release made available on the association’s official website, the organisation revealed its worry over players health, considering the issues that have happened this year.

Over 70% of the players that will represent their nation in Cameroon play their football in Europe, which is why it is not a surprise to see the ECA concerned.

In the last six months, a couple of players have collapsed due to heart-related issues, and there have been suggestions that the high number of games might have contributed to it.

However, in a chat with Soccernet, one of Nigeria’s reputable medical doctors, Tunde Akinbinu, said there’s no medical evidence that shows that the high number of games is the reason why some players have suffered cardiovascular issues.

But he did confirm that players are likely to have more injuries and suffer from fatigue from playing too many games.

“When a player has too many games with or without coronavirus, there’s a possibility of increased injuries, fatigue and Electrolyte imbalances,” Akinbinu told Soccernet.

“But does it increase the risk of pulmonary cardiac accidents? Not really particular.”

“They are more likely to be affected by the muscles fatigue.”

“Players could also be jaded and sometimes gas out from too many games.”

“But usually, the high number of games may not be related to the increase cardiac arrest,” he added.

The ECA may also be worried about the little matter of Omicron- the new variant of Covid-19- but doctor Akinbinu believes there is no need to panic yet.

“The world will have a better view of the Omicron over the next few weeks,” he said.

“Viruses mutate generally and are usually less aggressive.”

“So we expect that Omicron may be easily transferrable but has less mortality rate than the earliest forms of coronavirus,” he concluded.

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