FIFA’s silence on Jarque borders on callousness

FIFA has yet to put out a statement expressing its condolences on Jarque’s death. Its front page has an article on who will win La Liga and a public forum on what football moment caused you the most heartbreak. Suffice to say it was not Dani Jarque they had in mind. They did not even report on Jarque’s body brought back to Barcelona for his final farewell.
Unlike Marc Vivien Foe’s tragic death that occurred in the 2003 Confederations Cup semi-finals played between Colombia and Cameroun, Jarque collapsed in a hotel room far from a pitch or a FIFA mandated tournament. Foe was remembered in a moving eulogy by his son before this years finals between the USA and Brazil that left many moist eyed, including mine. Sepp Blatter had this to say about Foe:
“One of the legacies of Marc-Vivien Foe’s unfortunate death is that Fifa is providing medical care and aid where we possibly can. Foe’s death has brought a new approach to the prevention of health, disease and cardiologic problems in football organisation. More and more, a special cardiologic check-up has to be done before tournaments – just as Fifa has done with the eight teams at this year’s U-20 World Cup in Egypt. Another result was that Fifa has now recommended that a defibrillating machine should be present in all stadiums where football is played.”
Blatter might be protecting his turf but in matters football, FIFA has micromanaged many aspects that appear intrusive or unsavoury including siding with Cristiano Ronaldo at his unhappiness remaining at Man Utd last by calling him a slave. We can rewrite the history on that one with Ronaldo’s record weekly wages at Real. This is one issue that FIFA should micromanage. I think FIFA with its billions of dollars should team up with a group of universities and fund research on these heart problems that seem to be the cause of a number of tragic deaths in young players. In the meantime call for more stringent testing and monitoring, better equipment including the right type of defibrillator, and player counseling.

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