English footballer ′critical′ after mid-match collapse | News | DW | 17.03.2012
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English footballer 'critical' after mid-match collapse

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba was in critical condition late Saturday after collapsing during his team's FA Cup quarterfinal clash with fellow Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur.

According to a joint statement issued by Bolton and the admitting hospital, Muamba, 23, was taken to The Heart Attack Centre at The London Chest Hospital where he was in intensive care.

"No further information will be issued at this stage. The club and hospital request that the media and public respect the family's privacy at this time," the statement said.

Muamba, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but has represented England at the Under-21 level, had fallen to the turf near the center circle just minutes ahead of the halftime break with no other players standing nearby.

Medical staff were immediately called to the scene with match referee Howard Webb leading both teams from the field soon after. The game was abandoned minutes later.

A number of players could be seen crying and holding their heads as medics performed CPR on Muamba.

"On behalf of The FA, I would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Fabrice Muamba and his family this evening," FA chairman David Bernstein said in a statement.

"Fabrice has played 33 times for England Under-21s, captaining Stuart Pearce's side during this time and is a player, and more importantly, a person we care greatly for.

"We are in contact with Bolton Wanderers over Fabrice's condition and are awaiting updates."

dfm/ai (Reuters, AFP)