Bolton's Fabrice Muamba Collapses on Pitch, Hospitalized in Critical Condition

Adam Hirshfield@ahirshfieldFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2012

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch just before halftime of his side's match Saturday versus Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

The 23-year-old native of Zaire received CPR and a defibrillator was used on the field. Muamba was shortly thereafter carted off and rushed to a hospital. The Guardian reports that Muamba was not breathing when he was stretchered off.

Approximately 90 minutes after Muamba left the stadium, it was reported by Sky Sports that he was stable, but after several hours, his club released this statement:

Bolton Wanderers can confirm that Fabrice Muamba has been admitted to the Heart Attack Centre at the London Chest Hospital where he is currently in a critically ill condition in intensive care.

No further information will be issued at this stage.

The club has requested the media to respect his family's privacy at this time.

Per The Guardian, Bolton manager Owen Coyle and teammate Kevin Davies were in the ambulance with Muamba as he was brought to the hospital.

The match was suspended and eventually abandoned by referee Howard Webb. 

ESPN's on-field reporter spoke with Webb, who reportedly told him that "nobody was in a fit state to carry on with the game and that both sets of players completely understand the sensitivity of the situation."

@runofplay The reaction of the players was everything, I think. I've seen players reactions to broken legs or whatever - this was different.

— Ian King (@twoht) March 17, 2012

Players knelt on the pitch and covered their faces, while several fans were seen crying. 

Wrote Goal.com:

Martin Petrov is to my right hands clasped and praying, while Ivan Klasnic has crossed himself in hope. The entire stadium has sunk into silence except intermittent chants for Muamba. I feel physically sick.

Prior to joining Bolton in June of 2008, Muamba played at Arsenal and Birmingham City. Though he was born in Kinshasa, 11-year-old Muamba and his family came to England in 1999, and he has represented his new country at various youth levels.

Once it was announced that Muamba's status was stable, FA Chairman David Bernstein released an official statement:

On behalf of The FA, I would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Fabrice Muamba and his family this evening.

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.

More updates will be posted on Muamba's status as they become available. 

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