The Malta Independent 2 April 2020, Thursday

Footballer collapses during Third Division match between Kirkop and Santa Venera

Friday, 1 November 2019, 10:33 Last update: about 6 months ago

A football player collapsed yesterday during a Third Division match between Kirkop and Santa Venera at the Centenary Stadium.

The Santa Venera team captain, Yau-Mun Law, 36, collapsed just before half-time. The game did not resume.

Mun Law received immediate treatment from the Malta FA paramedic on duty at the Centenary Stadium who used an AED (automated external defibrillator) to treat the player, before he was taken to Mater Dei Hospital, a statement on the MFA website said.

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The incident has sparked calls for rules to be changed to ensure an ambulance is present for lower league matches, with one of Mun Law's teammates saying it took 30 minutes for paramedics to reach the scene. 

In a statement, Sta Venera Lightnings said that the player was in a stable condition but was still receiving intensive treatment at Mater Dei Hospital.

“During the third division match between Sta Venera Lightnings and Kirkop United our captain Yau Mun-Law fell ill and lost consciousness,” the club said.

“Yau-Mun Law was given first assistance and was taken to Mater Dei Hospital by ambulance.

“His condition is stable, even though he is still receiving intensive treatment.

“The club would like to thank nurse Charlot Lanzon and photographer Walter Sargent who provided first assistance to the player.

“Sta Venera Lightnings is appealing to everyone to stay united and pray for our player. We would like to thank everyone who is giving us their support in this difficult moment.”

Player threatens boycott

Sta Venera player Shamison Farrugia said that he and his team-mates will not play another match if an ambulance is not present near the stadium.

“Our team-mate is getting the CPR because his heart stopped and no ambulance near the ground for assistance,” Farrugia wrote on his Facebook page.

“It took 30 minutes to come from Mater Dei to the Centenary Stadium, Ta’ Qali…. there should be a stand-by ambulance like there will be in Premier Division… we are not different… we play the same game and follow the same rules.

“Another thing… me and my team-mates are not going to play another football game unless there is an ambulance near the stadium… we all have our loved ones… not worth risking.”

The Malta Sports Journalists Association appealed to the football authorities to ensure the presence of at least one ambulance and a doctor for football matches.

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