Premier League to fund over 2,000 defibrillators across grassroots football after Christian Eriksen's horror collapse

THE Premier League have agreed to fund over 2,000 new defibrillators across grassroots football in the wake of Christian Eriksen’s brush with death.

Denmark star Eriksen needed CPR and his heart to be shocked back into action after collapsing on the pitch during the Euro 2020 clash with Finland.

Specialists revealed the former Tottenham midfielder had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, a condition which strikes hundreds of people taking part in sport in the UK every year.

So the Premier League have announced it will provide over 2,000 new Automated External Defibrillators (AED) at thousands of grassroots football clubs and facilities.

The first phase will see the AEDs rolled out to Football Foundation funded facilities which currently do not have access to the life-saving device.

Then grassroots clubs across England who own their own facilities will then be able to apply for funding for a defibrillator.

Over 2,000 sites will benefit from this investment, with the first 1,000 units delivered in time for the start of season 2021-22 and the second wave expected in September.

Once installed, the AEDs will be accessible, if required, to an estimated 1.5m people that use these facilities per season.

As part of the scheme, each recipient will have required to send at least one person on the FA’s free Sudden Cardiac Arrest course to learn how to use them and also help with tips on CPR.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “The traumatic incident we all witnessed when Christian Eriksen collapsed during the European Championships brings into sharp focus the need for defibrillators to be more widely available across the football community.

“The welfare of participants and all those involved in football is a priority and this fund will support many people using football facilities not just with the provision of devices but also the training required to use the equipment.

“Sadly, a sudden cardiac incident could happen anytime, anywhere and we hope by enabling more facilities to have  a device, it will make the difference in saving someone’s life.”

Former Bolton star Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest on the pitch in 2012, said: “I am a big supporter of the Premier League’s new initiative to fund defibrillators for thousands of grassroots football clubs.

“I know from personal experience the importance of having access to this type of medical equipment and how vital it is for someone’s survival after suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

“Educating people how to use defibrillators is crucial.

"I really hope the clubs and facilities will encourage as many coaches, players and staff to undertake the training provided and help create safe places to play the game we all love.”

The Premier League Defibrillator Fund is in addition to the £100m that the Premier League invests per season in community facilities, community and education programmes. 

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