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Soccer is ‘complacent’ when it comes to scares, says Fabrice Muamba

Soccer is ‘complacent’ when it comes to heart scares with Christian Eriksen, Sergio Agüero and John Fleck among recent high-profile cases, believes Fabrice Muamba … while urging schools to make teaching how to manage cardiac arrest mandatory


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Fabrice Muamba has said that the heart-scares of Christian Eriksen, Sergio Agüero and Daley Blind need to bring football out of its complacency in the face of a disease that continues to claim many lives.

It will mark 10 years next March since Muamba’s career ended after he suffered cardiac arrest on the field while playing for Bolton at Tottenham, but the 33-year-old said it showed how much more there was left to do.

Muamba said: ‘There is complacency about it. We have a high profile incident, we talk about it a lot and we think we have solved it, but we have not.

Fabrice Muamba collapsed during Bolton's game against the Spurs at White Hart Lane in 2012

Fabrice Muamba collapsed during Bolton’s game against the Spurs at White Hart Lane in 2012

Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest against Finland at Euro 2020

Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest against Finland at Euro 2020

Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest against Finland at Euro 2020

‘Iker Casilas has been in Porto, the current conversation about Sergio Agüero, who has had heart problems. Daley Blind at Ajax is another. And Christian Eriksen, of course.

We are supposed to be the fittest of the fittest, but it is happening more often now. If it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone else.

Aguero was taken to the hospital for a cardiac exam after suffering chest pain and dizziness during his team’s 1-1 draw with Alavés last month.

The 33-year-old was treated on the field after he was seen clutching his chest moments before half-time and was subsequently replaced during half-time.

Sergio Agüero of Barcelona had to be replaced last month after suffering respiratory problems

Sergio Agüero of Barcelona had to be replaced last month after suffering respiratory problems

Sergio Agüero of Barcelona had to be replaced last month after suffering respiratory problems

The Barça forward takes three months away from the game while evaluating his health

The Barça forward takes three months away from the game while evaluating his health

The Barça forward takes three months away from the game while evaluating his health

Muamba believes that football must start taking decisive measures to avoid an increase in cases

Muamba believes that football must start taking decisive measures to avoid an increase in cases

Muamba believes that football must start taking decisive measures to avoid an increase in cases

Blind was diagnosed with heart muscle inflammation in December 2019 after feeling dizzy in a Champions League match with Valencia. He had a device installed to regulate any abnormal heart rhythms, but he collapsed again during a preseason game in August 2020.

Muamba noted that different countries do not have a consistent approach after a player suffers an incident.

In Italy, players cannot reappear if they suffer cardiac arrest on the field.

“I think prevention is better than cure,” he said. ‘I would also go on the safer side. Stay out of the touchline afterwards. Everyone will have a different approach, but for me, it was looking at the big picture.

After an episode like that, it’s not about you anymore. You have a family and you are putting a lot of people at risk every time you play. You are making a decision for many other people. ‘

His biggest concern is increasing the number of people who are trained to deal with cardiac arrest, including teaching schoolchildren the skill, to ensure that lives can be saved.

Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck was rushed to hospital after collapsing on the field.

Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck was rushed to hospital after collapsing on the field.

Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck was rushed to hospital after collapsing on the field.

New research from Virgin Media has found that while 89 percent say they would help a stranger with a medical emergency no matter what, if faced with someone with cardiac arrest, less than half (48 percent) say that they would feel confident to step up and use CPR, with making a mistake (62 percent) or hurting someone (41 percent) among the greatest fears.

Muamba, who has been involved in advising Virgin Media On training 500 members of his front-line staff in the use of CPR, he said: “We should train people so that they know exactly what to expect and are not afraid to step in and do something.

“I think it should be mandatory for them to learn how to do these things in schools and that there should be a defibrillator in every building.”

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