Schumacher health not a public issue, maintains manager

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Michael Schumacher's manager, Sabine Kehm, has confirmed the health of the seven-time Formula One world champion will remain a private matter, on the day an initiative was launched to unite those inspired by the 47-year-old.

Motorsport great Schumacher sustained severe head injuries in December 2013 following a skiing accident in France.

The German spent several months in hospital and his condition has remained a closely guarded secret since he returned home in September 2014 to continue his rehabilitation, with Kehm frequently stating the need for the privacy of Schumacher's family to be respected.

On Saturday, Kehm announced the creation of the 'Keep Fighting' initiative, which aims to "unite the people who are inspired by the career and character of Michael Schumacher, and to encourage them to keep fighting and never give up".

In doing so, Schumacher's manager stated her reasons for not providing information about his condition.

"Michael's health is not a public issue, and so we will continue to make no comment in that regard. This is also because we have to protect his intimate sphere," said Kehm in a media release.

"Legally seen and in the longer term, every statement related to his health would diminish the extent of his intimate sphere. We are aware that this may be difficult for some people to understand but we do this with full commitment to Michael's guidelines and can only thank people for their understanding."

Kehm added: "Michael has always been very protective of his privacy, even during the most successful times of his career. He has always made sure there is a clear and distinct line between his public persona and his private one.

"This is only a very first step, and we hope 'Keep Fighting' can be a real force for good in the future. At this stage, I can only confirm we are happy try to spread the positive energy of Michael's fans and to encourage people to keep fighting and to never give up."