Monday 20 November 2017

Sunderland may discipline Patrick van Aanholt for smoking shisha pipe

Luke Edwards

David Moyes will decide whether to discipline defender Patrick van Aanholt after a photograph emerged of him allegedly smoking a shisha pipe just over a month before he was pulled out of the Sunderland team over concerns about his heart.

The Holland international had to be replaced just 35 minutes before Sunderland’s 1-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, after a cardiologist belatedly raised an issue with the results of a routine test taken last week.

Moyes, who was irritated by the fact he was forced to take the 26-year-old out  of the side so close to kick-off, has refused to divulge details of the problem, but he is unlikely to be impressed if the full back has been smoking.

It is thought Van Aanholt is routinely subjected to cardiovascular tests, although there is no reason why he should not continue playing. The picture, which surfaced on the internet on Thursday, is thought to have been taken just days before the start of the Premier League season.

Shisha pipes are not illegal. However, the potential impact on health is high, with some experts estimating the amount of smoke inhaled is the equivalent to smoking around 200 cigarettes. Given the concerns over his heart, Sunderland will feel his behavior is ill-advised at best and could fine the former Chelsea prospect.

Van Aanholt has had a second round of tests on his heart and was given the all clear, playing in Sunderland’s EFL Cup game against QPR on Wednesday night, just three days after the drama at White Hart Lane.

Sunderland refused to comment, although Moyes is likely to address the matter in his press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace.

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