By Oluwamayomikun Orekoya
A former Nigerian U-17 national team physician has urged the Federal Government to make Pre-Competition Medical Assessment (PCMA) compulsory at all levels of competitive sports in the country.
Dr. Ayodeji Olarinoye MON, who is the CEO of Sports Medicine Professionals, said while reacting to the death of Osun footballer, Damilola of Premier Football Club Ofatedo who reportedly died recently after a non-contact collapse on the field.
He said: “This is another death too many. It is disturbing that up till now, there is no law in the country compelling athletes to undergo Pre-Competition Medical Assessment (PCMA) to ensure that they are healthy and fit enough to participate in sports.
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“A critical assessment of the events suggests Sudden Cardiac Death due to a Cardiovascular problem that could have been detected earlier.”
Olarinoye who was the team medical officer of the Golden Eaglets’ class of 2013 and 2015 that won the U-17 FIFA World Cup, said it is about time governmental authorities ensure due compliance with PCMA.
“Although, PCMA has been included in the guidelines of some sports in Nigeria, compliance is still at a very low rate because of lack of legislation,” noted Olarinoye who was a FIFA Doping Control Officer for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.“ Nigeria has so many young talents and we cannot afford to keep losing them. It only shows our failure as a system.”