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Mar 18, 2012

Muamba still in "critical condition"

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba remains in a "critical condition" in intensive care after suffering a cardiac arrest during Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

• Villa-Bolton match postponed
• Muamba 'critically ill' after collapse
• Match abandoned

Muamba, 23, collapsed and was attended to on the pitch for several minutes before being taken to London's Chest Hospital, where he is still fighting for his life in the Heart Attack Centre.

On Sunday, the London Chest Hospital released a statement regarding the condition of the former England Under-21 international, who will remain in intensive care for at least the next 24 hours.

"Fabrice Muamba remains in a critical condition," the statement read. "Fabrice was admitted to the hospital yesterday evening after collapsing at White Hart Lane, where he sustained a cardiac arrest.

"Fabrice received prolonged resuscitation at the ground and on route to The London Chest Hospital, where his heart eventually started working.

"As is normal medical practice, Fabrice remains anaesthetised in intensive care and will be for at least 24 hours. His condition continues to be closely monitored by the cardiac specialists at the hospital."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle, who accompanied Muamba to the hospital on Saturday, said: "The next 24 hours are going to be absolutely crucial. We've obviously been inundated with people wishing him well and we hope that if everybody can pray strongly tonight that Fabrice is able to recover.

"It's very serious. There's no getting away from that. He's critically ill and God willing he makes it through."

Coyle later added: "Fabrice's family have asked me to pass on their thanks for the many, many kind messages of support from not only Bolton fans but also fans from clubs across the country and abroad.

"All our thoughts and prayers are for Fabrice and his family. The family would also like to thank the media for respecting their privacy at this time."

Meanwhile, Bolton chairman Phil Gartside has thanked fans from the worldwide footballing community and those who have showed their support and concern for Muamba.

He said in a statement on Bolton's website: "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.

"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."

With the scores level at 1-1 with 41 minutes played during the match at Tottenham, Muamba collapsed near the halfway line. Paramedics spent six minutes trying to resuscitate the Bolton midfielder on the pitch before he was stretchered off amid applause from both sets of fans.

With players from both teams visibly distressed, referee Howard Webb took the players off and shortly afterwards it was confirmed the game would not continue.

Two of the Tottenham players who witnessed his collapse, Kyle Walker and Jermain Defoe, were among the first to send messages of support to Muamba.

Walker wrote: "Doesn't matter who you support. Doesn't matter if you aren't a football fan. Doesn't matter if you aren't religious. Pray for Fabrice Muamba."

Defoe added: "God willing he will pull through."

England midfielder Frank Lampard said: "We are all Wanderers tonight."

This is not the first time Bolton have been at the centre of such a terrible incident. In 2004, former Senegal international Khalilou Fadiga collapsed prior to a Carling Cup tie with Tottenham at the Reebok Stadium.

Fadiga had to be fitted with a defibrillator due to an irregular heartbeat and despite initial reservations, was eventually able to resume his career, although he never reached the levels he had been at previously.

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