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Chris Naumoff retires after being diagnosed a heart condition

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Naumoff playing for Sydney; photo: alchetron.comNaumoff playing for Sydney; photo: alchetron.comMacedonian-Australian winger is forced to immediately retire at only 21 as doctors diagnosed him a genetic heart condition.

Sad news arrive from Spain. The new signing of Numancia, the young prospect of the Australian and the Macedonian football is forced to put an end to his career due to a heart condition.

Christopher Naumoff didn't pass the medical exam at Numancia as the doctors found an abnormality in his heart after which additional tests revealed a genetic condition which involves thickening of the interior heart wall and introduces a risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

The young Australian of Macedonian origin released a statement to The World Game explaining his actions:

"To my family, friends and fans I would like to take this opportunity to explain the current situation regarding my professional football career. As some of you may be aware I was fortunate enough to have signed a 3 year deal with C.D. Numancia in Spain, for me a dream come true.

During the mandatory medical assessment under taken by C.D. Numancia it was found that there was an abnormality of my heart. Apart from this finding there is no issue with my health and fitness. After two follow up examinations from professional football related cardiologists in Madrid, and a final consultation with Professor Christopher Semsarian in Sydney the condition was confirmed as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM is a genetic condition which involves thickening of the interior heart wall and introduces a risk of sudden cardiac arrest, in particular for professional athletes during activity.

How long this condition has affected me is unknown, and how this condition was not discovered during my time as a professional in Australia is a question for another day.

As a result of these findings, in conjunction with the risks that come with the condition, the history of players with this condition, recommendations from the cardiac professionals and the international rules of the game, it is with great sadness that I announce my retirement from professional football.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank first and foremost C.D. Numancia for finding this condition, their hospitality during this period was overwhelming. I would like to thank Sydney FC for providing me the opportunity to start my professional career, also thank you to all my junior clubs in which I spent time with prior to my professional career.

In particular I would like to express special thanks to my immediate family and agent Miquel Riera for helping me through this difficult time.

For me I am grateful that this condition was found before any fatality.

I encourage all professional or amateur football clubs and individuals to take out these tests to ensure all players can play the game risk free of potential fatality. The two simple but effective tests to diagnose this condition are an Electrocardiogram (ECG) and a Echocardiogram (Echo).

I intend to stay involved with the game of football in one way or another, and hope my example can change the lives of athletes and set a precedent to better testing and awareness for the future and the wellbeing of all athletes.

Christopher KIKI Naumoff"

Naumoff was capped for the youth Australian national teams but was pursued by the Football federation of Macedonia who wanted him to play for the land of his parents. At this moment this is the end for his career, but we have witnessed players that have made a long and rich career with similar heart conditions. One example is Gerald Asamoah, a German national team player of Ghanaian decent who suffered from a hypertrophic non-obstructive cardiomyopathy, meaning that the flesh lobe that separates the right and left heart chambers is extremely thick, which can cause an arrhythmic heartbeat. Nigerian legendary striker Nwankwo Kanu had a serious heart defect after which he underwent surgery in November 1996 to replace an aortic valve and returned playing few months later. He retired from football 14 years later!

A year ago we interviewed Chris, you can read it by clicking here.

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