18 Mar 2012

FA Cup game abandoned as player fights for life

1:18 pm on 18 March 2012

A major football game in Britain has been abandoned after Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed and stopped breathing.

Medics spent 10 minutes trying to resuscitate the 23-year-old on the field before the players in the FA Cup quarter-final between Bolton and Tottenham Hotspur were taken off by referee Howard Webb.

He is now in the intensive care unit of the London Chest Hospital's heart attack centre, where his condition is described as critical, though some media have reported it as stable.

The game was 41 minutes old and the score 1-1 when Muamba collapsed with no players close by. Medical staff gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and tried to revive him with a defibrillator.

Both sets of supporters chanted Muamba's name as he was taken off the pitch on a stretcher, wearing an oxygen mask.

Referee Webb called the visibly shaken players off the field after consulting with managers Owen Coyle and Harry Redknapp.

Minutes later the match was abandoned.

Muamba, who was born in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), has represented England 33 times at the under-21 level. He joined Bolton from Birmingham City in 2008 and has made 130 league appearances for the club.