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Fabrice Muamba Reaction: Why the EPL Gained Back Its Lost Respect

BOLTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 19:  Tributes and get well messages are laid outside the Reebok Stadium for Bolton Wanderers' Fabrice Muamba at Reebok Stadium on March 19, 2012 in Bolton, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Nathan JudahCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2012

The events at White Hart Lane this weekend brought the soccer world to a standstill. Thankfully, Fabrice Muamba's health is continuing to slowly improve at the London Chest Hospital.

Sometimes good things can come out of bad situations, and although no one would ever wish what happened to Muamba on anyone, the positive reaction and unification that has resulted since the disturbing incident should be commended.

The EPL's stock in World Football has certainly taken a significant hit this year with a variety of problems both on and off the pitch visibly damaging its brand name.

Once seen as the standout league in Europe, English football was forced to eat plenty of humble pie recently due to its incredibly poor showing in the Champions and Europa Leagues.

The Luis Suarez/Patrice Evra racism saga has dominated the majority of media coverage for months, while John Terry has a date with Crown Court following the European Championships concerning allegations of racism towards Anton Ferdinand.

Add to that Fabio Capello's resignation as England manager, the Football Association's less than gracious reaction to England not being awarded the World Cup—not to mention its constant disregard of the Respect the Referee campaign—and you have a year to forget for the home of the beautiful game.

But the reaction from everyone connected with English football since Muamba's heart attack has gone a long way to regaining that lost credibility.

The genuine concern from players and fans was clearly evident on Sunday and the applause, chanting and acceptance of the fixture cancellation was both compassionate and heartfelt.

After the London riots and the subsequent questions about British society, it is pleasing that football has come together to unite, grieve and put what is really important into perspective.

Some people see soccer/football as life or death. Saturday proved that statement could not be further from the truth.

May I take this opportunity to wish Fabrice Muamba a quick and speedy recovery. 

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