Mancini calls for more screening

PA Sport
Roberto Mancini
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Roberto Mancini

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has demanded twice yearly medical screenings for Barclays Premier League players after admitting he was worried not enough is being done to protect them.

There has been no further update on the condition of Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba since Monday night, when it was confirmed the 23-year-old was able to answer questions and speak in both French and English. Mancini was relieved at the latest bulletin but cannot understand how the Premier League has allowed a situation that puts the safety of players at risk.

"I was really worried on Sunday," the Italian said. "Today I have read he has improved and I am very happy for him and his family. But if you want to know my opinion, it is that here in England, the best championship in the world, everything is fantastic. But we need to improve the medical side for the players."

Monday's news represents a dramatic improvement for Muamba, whose heart stopped for two hours following his collapse during the first half of his side's FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham on Saturday evening.

Mancini added: "We need to screen the players often, maybe two times a year and they have to be more accurate because they don't do this. When I saw our medical two years ago, I was really worried. I said we need to do them better."

Past problems in Italy led to a far more stringent series of medical tests than the ones which players must undergo in England.

After replacing Mark Hughes as City boss in 2009, Mancini could not believe the Premier League, with all its money and claims of being the best league in the world, did not operate to the same standards.

"It is impossible that a young guy could die on the pitch because they didn't do a medical accurately," he said. "I want all the players, not just ours, to have more accurate medicals.

"And always, not once a year. Every six months. This is really important for the players because it is totally different today than it was 20 years ago. It is very important.

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

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