Fabrice Muamba is in stable condition according to a hospital statement after heartbreaking scenes at White Hart Lane in north London Saturday when Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba, 23, collapsed on the pitch with a suspected heart attack.
In the 42nd minute of the match, despite no contact being made, Fabrice Muamba collapsed face down on the pitch at White Hart Lane Saturday afternoon in an off-the-ball incident. The team doctor rushed on to the pitch, and turned Muamba on to his side. Paramedics ran on to the field to attend to Muamba, and tried to resuscitate the player. A defibrillator was used to try to resuscitate Muamba, who suffered a suspected heart attack.
As the Tottenham and Bolton supporters watched in stunned silence, many of them — as well as players and referee — clasped their hands in shock and prayer, while the paramedics continued to help Muamba, who was fighting for his life. Both Bolton and Tottenham Hotspur supporters chanted Fabrice Muamba’s name. And there were many tears, both from supporters in White Hart Lane and from TV viewers around the world.
Six minutes after Muamba collapsed, the paramedics took Muamba off in a stretcher, into an ambulance (where he was accompanied by Bolton manager Owen Coyle and captain Kevin Davies) and to a local hospital. Referee Howard Webb then suspended the game after consultation with both team captains as well as both managers.
In the United States, FOX Soccer aired the game live and stayed with the coverage until it was confirmed that the match had been abandoned. FOX Soccer’s Keith Costigan closed the broadcast by saying “Our thoughts and prayers are with Fabrice Muamba.”
In very unfortunate circumstances, full credit must go to the way that everyone handled the situation from the two clubs, referee Howard Webb, the medical staff and everyone associated. The television coverage was respectful. Instead of showing the disturbing scenes of the resuscitation attempts on Muamba, the cameras zoomed back to a far-away corner shot of White Hart Lane while commentators Tony Jones and Nigel Winterburn (on the international feed) handled themselves well, explaining to the viewers what they knew and staying on point. In the United Kingdom, the game was shown live by ESPN UK where Jon Champion did an admirable job covering the sensitive and difficult scenes.
Immediately after Muamba collapsed, soccer fans from around the world took to Twitter to share the news as well as to send their prayers to Muamba.
With Muamba in stable condition, I hope you’ll agree with me that we should continue to hope and pray that Muamba will return to full health. After a very nerve-wracking day for everyone involved who witnessed this serious incident, the good news is that it appears that Muamba is going to make it.
Full credit must go to the heroes who were on the medical staff at the ground, in the stadium and the hospital who saved Fabrice Muamba’s life today.