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Monday 19 March 2012

Bolton midfielder Muamba remains critically ill

Star in intensive care in London hospital after collapsing on pitch at Spurs

Fabrice Muamba has already played more than 160 matches in the Barclays Premier League

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba remains in a critically ill condition in a London hospital after collapsing on the pitch during their FA Cup tie at Tottenham Hotspur.

The 23-year-old had a cardiac arrest four minutes before half-time during Saturday's quarter-final at White Hart Lane and was treated by medics before being taken to the London Chest Hospital.

"All our thoughts and prayers are for Fabrice and his family"
- Owen Coyle

Bolton confirmed on Saturday night that Muamba was in a critical condition at the hospital's Heart Attack Centre, and the club released an update on the club's official website on Monday morning:

"Fabrice Muamba's heart condition is stable, but he remains critically ill in intensive care at The London Chest Hospital.

"The family is grateful to the media for continuing to respect their privacy at this time."

On Sunday, Bolton had confirmed that Muamba sustained a cardiac arrest during the match at Spurs and received prolonged resuscitation at the ground and on route to the London Chest Hospital, where his heart started working again.

Messages of support

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside released his own statement on the club's website on Sunday evening, thanking everyone for their support for Muamba.

"Fabrice's family have been overwhelmed by the huge outpouring of kindness"
- Phil Gartside

"I know Fabrice's family have been overwhelmed by the huge outpouring of kindness, from people visiting the hospital to leave cards to those sending messages and emails," said Gartside.

"On behalf of our club, I would like to thank the Premier League, the FA and all the clubs who have been in touch to offer their support. This has extended worldwide with FIFA, UEFA and the global footballing family also.

"I would also like to offer our thanks and deep appreciation to all those at Tottenham Hotspur yesterday and Aston Villa for their understanding at this time.

"The staff at the London Chest Hospital have been nothing short of exceptional and I would like to thank them all at this on-going critical time.

"All BWFC fans who have contacted me personally or the club have been unbelievable. We aspire to be a family and all expressions of support are testimony to the reality of the family club we have at Bolton.

"I ask for everybody to keep Fabrice in their prayers and thoughts."

The quarter-final tie was level at 1-1 when referee Howard Webb abandoned the match with four minutes remaining in the first half.

"The thoughts of the Premier League, its clubs and players are with Fabrice Muamba, his family and Bolton Wanderers"
- Richard Scudamore

Webb led the stunned players off the pitch at Spurs, with both sets of supporters applauding and some chanting Muamba's name.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore said: "The thoughts of the Premier League, its clubs and players are with Fabrice Muamba, his family and Bolton Wanderers.

"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.

"The League would also like to commend the compassion shown by the fans of Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur.

"We hope to hear positive news about Fabrice who is and has been a wonderful ambassador for the English game and the League at Arsenal, Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers."

Medical provisions

There are a number of medical provisions in the Premier League Rule Book for all clubs. These include:

  • All professional senior players to have a cardiological examination as early in their careers as possible and again if the annual medical screen shows any results that warrant a further examination
  • Each club to have its doctor at matches
  • Club doctor to be seated on trainers' bench
  • All doctors and physios to complete AREA training course (Advanced Resuscitation and Emergency Aid)
  • At least two paramedics to be available pitch side to deal with on field emergencies
  • Ambulance to be located at ground for exclusive use of players
  • Home club to provide away club with medical info sheet containing key contact numbers/location of nearest hospital etc
  • Home club to have available mandatory medical equipment as prescribed by Premier League
  • Annual medical examinations to be carried out on all players

There are also medical/screening rules in the Youth section of the Premier League Rule Book. Rule 189 requires all Academies to:

  • Ensure that all Scholars (16-18 year olds) at Premier League clubs must go through a cardiological examination/screening
  • Ensure that each of its players undergoes age-appropriate medical and physical screening to measure physiological and fitness
  • Have a doctor or paramedic present at each game in the professional development phase (Rule 194 clarifies that an appropriately qualified member of staff must be available at ALL matches and training sessions - appropriate qualifications being the First Aid at Work qualification)
  • Ensure a defibrillator is available at each coaching and match venue and that staff are trained in its use across all academies

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Key Points

  • Bolton's Fabrice Muamba remains critically ill after being taken to hospital
  • Muamba, 23, is in intensive care at London Chest Hospital after cardiac arrest
  • Midfielder collapsed during FA Cup tie at Tottenham