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Thailand warns fans of Euro 2016 heart attack threat

AFP , Monday 13 Jun 2016
Mario Goetze
Germany's forward Mario Goetze (centre) vies with Ukraine's defender Yevhen Khacheridi during their Euro 2016 match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Villeneuve-d'Ascq on June 12, 2016 (Photo: AFP)
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Thailand's health authorities have urged football fans to avoid getting overly excited while watching Euro 2016 lest those heart-stopping moments literally prove fatal.

The Public Halth Ministry published advice calling on fans to ward off heart attacks by making sure they get enough rest and avoid long binges of football-fuelled excitement.

"The ministry would like to advise all sport lovers -- teenagers, students, working people and the elderly -- to watch sensibly," Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, a ministry official, told reporters.

"Allocate appropriate time for watching and resting," he added.

The ministry urged those with diabetes and heart problems to make sure they continue to take medication. It said those who work hard, even the young, should also take care.

"If your bodies are weak, fans should only watch the matches they are interested in or watch replays instead. Do enough rest, exercise, eat healthy foods and avoid alcohol," Suwanchai said.

Thailand is a football-mad nation and European football in particular has a huge following.

Most of Euro 2016's matches will take place in the middle of the night in Thailand, leading some health officials to fear that diehard fans will pull successive boozy all-nighters.

Last week police announced a crackdown on betting on the games.

Gambling is outlawed in the Buddhist-majority nation but black-market bookies are commonplace.

Police said that during the 2014 World Cup, more than 800 football gambling websites in Thailand were shut down and almost 1,000 people, mostly gamblers, were arrested.

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