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Soccer’s Muamba ‘Critical’ After Collapsing During Game

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba remains in a “critical” condition today after suffering a cardiac arrest during a televised F.A. Cup soccer match.

Muamba, 23, is “anaesthetised” in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital after collapsing on the pitch near the end of the first half of Bolton’s away game against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, in north London, yesterday. Medical staff in the ground treated the player on the pitch with a defibrillator before he was carried off on a stretcher.

“Fabrice Muamba remains in a critical condition in intensive care in the Heart Attack Centre at the London Chest Hospital,” the hospital and club said in a joint statement today. “He was admitted to the hospital yesterday evening after collapsing at White Hart Lane, where he sustained a cardiac arrest. Fabrice received prolonged resuscitation at the ground and on route to the London Chest Hospital, where his heart eventually started working.”

Players and both sets of fans were visibly upset, with some in tears. Match referee Howard Webb took both teams off the field and moments later the game was abandoned with the score tied 1-1.

Ian Dennis, the British Broadcasting Corp.’s Radio 5 Live chief football reporter, was covering yesterday’s game and described the efforts to treat Muamba.

‘Swift Actions’

“When the medical staff arrived his face was on the turf,” Dennis said on the BBC website. “You could see them using a defibrillator. Everyone could see Fabrice Muamba was fighting for his life.”

In a statement, Premier League Chief Executive Officer Richard Scudamore said the thoughts of all clubs and players were with Muamba.

“We would like to praise the players, match officials, coaching staff and medical teams of both clubs at White Hart Lane for their swift actions in attending Fabrice,” Scudamore said.

Muamba, a member of the England under-21 national team and a former Arsenal midfielder, is in his fourth season with Bolton. He has appeared in 19 matches this season, scoring once.

Bolton’s scheduled Premier League match at Aston Villa on March 20 was today postponed.

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