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Muamba’s health remains ‘critical’ after cardiac arrest


LONDON BOLTON footballer Fabrice Muamba was still in a “critical condition” in intensive care Sunday after suffering a cardiac arrest, a joint statement issued by the club and the London Chest Hospital said.

“As is normal medical practice, Fabrice remains anaesthetised in intensive care and will be for at least 24 hours,” the statement added. “His condition continues to be closely monitored by the cardiac specialists at the hospital.” The 23-year-old Kinshasaborn player was rushed to hospital after harrowing scenes towards the end of the first half of an FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Saturday, when the midfielder slumped to the turf with no player near him.

Sunday’s statement confirmed Muamba had suffered a cardiac arrest but added his heart had “eventually” started working. “Fabrice Muamba remains in a critical condition in intensive care in the Heart Attack Centre at The London Chest Hospital,” the statement said. “He was admitted to the hospital yesterday (Saturday) evening after collapsing at White Hart Lane, where he sustained a cardiac arrest during the FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham Hotspur.

“Fabrice received prolonged resuscitation at the ground and on route to the London Chest Hospital, where his heart eventually started working.” Bolton manager Owen Coyle added: “Fabrice’s family have asked me to pass on their thanks for the many, many kind messages of support from not only Bolton fans but also fans from clubs across the country and abroad.

“All our thoughts and prayers are for Fabrice and his family at this time.” Family members visited Muamba in hospital on Sunday but made no public comment.

The Premier League announced later Sunday that Bolton’s league match away to Aston Villa on Tuesday had been postponed at the request of the Lancashire club, adding “the match will be rearranged at a future date following appropriate consultation with the clubs”.

Players, fans and millions of television viewers had watched in shock on Saturday as paramedics treated Muamba on the pitch before he was carried off on a stretcher after 41 minutes with the scores at 1-1.

Referee Howard Webb called the players off the field and soon afterwards the match was abandoned.

“It was the right decision to abandon the game, everybody was in a state of shock and it wouldn’t have been right to carry on,” said Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager. “Football is the last thing on anyone’s mind when an awful situation such as this happens.” Muamba, who moved to England from the Democratic Republic of Congo at the age of 11 after his father fled the wartorn country, has represented England at schoolboy and Under-21 level.

That otherwise seemingly fit players could suffer cardiac problems while playing was brought home to the football world by the death of Cameroon’s Marc-Vivien Foe during a Confederations Cup semi-final against Colombia in 2003. And Saturday’s incident was not the first time Bolton had seen one of their players laid low by a heart problem.

In 2004, Senegal international Khalilou Fadiga collapsed before Bolton’s League Cup tie against Tottenham at the Reebook Stadium.

“Unfortunately for us we had this experience where Kally collapsed in the warm-up before the game and his heart had actually stopped,” former Bolton manager Sam Allardyce, now in charge at West Ham, told the BBC. “I can remember it vividly.” 0 Allardyce said Fadiga was able to play again, adding: “He was then taken to hospital and monitored and eventually he was fitted with a portable defibrillator, which was fitted under the chest bone so if he wanted to start playing football again, which he did.

“At Bolton he played a couple of games but then I think he went back to France and played there as well as Belgium. And now he is all fit and well.”

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