Blackburn's McCarthy received improved League medical treatment

The FA and the Premier League have improved the level of care to players in the light of injuries to Petr Cech and Carlo Cudicini last term.

A number of new measures have been introduced at stadiums this season including the use of an ambulance specifically for players and officials.

Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy was afforded the new special service when he collapsed against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on the opening day with a head injury.

It is now compulsory for each stadium to have the following provisions in place on matchday:

A fully-equipped ambulance purely for the use of players/officials.

Two fully-equipped paramedics stretcher-bearers.

The club doctor and physiotherapist to occupy seats on the team bench at matches.

By the start of the 2008-09 season it will be mandatory for club doctors and physiotherapists to have completed the two-day FA Advanced Resuscitation and Emergency Aid Course (AREA). The qualification will be valid for three years.

In addition, clubs will be asked to complete a questionnaire setting out the medical aid provisions in place at their stadium, for the information of visiting clubs.

FA head of medical and exercise science Alan Hodson told www.thefa.com: "The health and safety of players is always our absolute top priority, and as a game we constantly keep our processes and regulations under review.

"These new requirements ensure that the right facilities, equipment and medical staff are in place at each match."

A Premier League spokesman said: "The Premier League and our member clubs are committed to the highest standards in player safety.

"These new regulations, in conjunction with the FA course, will ensure that all the appropriate measures are in place to deal effectively and efficiently with any player related medical emergencies."

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