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'No support' amid ex-FC player's diagnosis

AAP logoAAP 21/12/2016 Warren Barnsley

Former Sydney FC player Chris Naumoff has accused the A-League club and the FFA of a lack of support after his diagnosis of a potentially fatal heart condition.

Naumoff left the Sky Blues mid-year without knowing he had the inherited disease hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

But a medical examination after arriving at new Spanish club Numancia revealed his condition, forcing him into retirement at 21.

Naumoff praised Numancia for their handling of his diagnosis.

But barring a Sydney FC offer of club memberships, he said little support from officials in Australia had been forthcoming.

"I was expecting more support from people and organisations within football," he told News Corp Australia.

"I played for Australia at U20 and U23 level, but I've had no contact from FFA.

"With Sydney FC, I've met with a few people in the club since it happened. All that's come from that is me being offered four memberships for this season.

"I hoped there would be a lot more support. It feels like I've been left to fend for myself, in terms of advice and support."

Sydney FC told News Corp it had discussed future opportunities with Naumoff at the club, including a coaching role.

It refused to comment on why it had not been able to diagnose Naumoff's condition.

The former midfielder has also been working with Professional Footballers Australia, which has provided him with legal and insurance advice while helping him with his coaching education.

The PFA refused to comment on what level of support it believes Naumoff is entitled to but boss John Didulica told AAP the players' group had elevated its engagement with him.

"The players have provided some short-term hardship support for one of their own and will stick with Chris as he reinvents himself as a young coach," Didulica said.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has been blamed for the sudden deaths of otherwise fit athletes.

It caused the on-field collapse and near death of ex-Bolton player Fabrice Muamba in 2012.

The FFA refused to comment on the issue.

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