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Mar 20, 2012

Mancini calls for medical overhaul

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes the medical back-up for players in Serie A is far superior to that on offer in England.

Like so many others, Mancini has been praying for Fabrice Muamba since the Bolton midfielder collapsed at White Hart Lane on Saturday after suffering a cardiac arrest. However, Mancini's concern is equalled by his incredulity at the manner in which England's top clubs treat their players.

It is a matter he raised during his first pre-season with the Blues in 2010, when he discovered what medical examinations his players were undertaking. And he does not believe it has got any better since.

''When I came here two years ago and saw what the players do in pre-season, I was really worried. I told the doctor it was not enough,'' said Mancini. ''He said that is how it is in England. He said it is good. In my opinion it isn't.

''In 2012, you can't have what happened on Sunday. This guy is 23. He has a family and son. I pray for him. I hope he does very well. But it is impossible that a young guy could die on the pitch because they didn't do a medical accurately.''

After both Kanu and Khalilou Fadiga, who went on to join Bolton, experienced problems, the Italian system was completely overhauled a decade ago. Now the Italian Olympic Committee oversees compulsory screening of all players every six months, which are regulated by law.

In the Premier League it seems more ad-hoc, with Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish revealing that Reds' players are only screened once every two years.

''I am not satisfied with the medicals,'' said Mancini. ''In England it is really light medical. I hope that the club can speak with the FA because in Italy the medical is really strong, right at the start of pre-season, for every player and happens again after six months.

''The Premier League is the best championship in the world and everything is fantastic but we need to improve the medical. This is really important for the players because it is totally different today than it was 20 years ago.

''What happened to Muamba and other players in the past can't happen again.''

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