LONDON: The Premier League has announced it will fund the provision of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) at thousands of grassroots football clubs and facilities, aimed at helping save the life of someone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest.
Working in partnership with the Football Foundation and The Football Association, the first phase of the Premier League Defibrillator Fund rollout will have AEDs provided to Football Foundation-funded facilities which currently are without a life-saving device onsite.
In the second phase, grassroots clubs that own their facilities will be able to apply for funding for a defibrillator.
Together more than 2,000 sites will benefit from this investment, with the first 1,000 units delivered in time for the start of the 2021/22 season and the second batch expected in September.
Once installed, the AEDs will be accessible, if required, to an estimated 1.5 million people who use these facilities per season.
While defibrillators are designed to be simple to use, each grant recipient will be required to have at least one person successfully complete The FA Education's free online Sudden Cardiac Arrest course.
The facilities would be instructed on how to register their device with the emergency services, so any member of the public can access the equipment and be given guidance on how to update their emergency action plan.
The Football Foundation will contact previously funded facilities next week, with further information to be provided in July regarding the application process for the second phase.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters in an official release said: "The traumatic incident we all witnessed when Christian Eriksen collapsed during UEFA Euro 2020 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," he added. (ANI)