FABRICE MUAMBA: Complacency is holding back football when it comes to preventing heart issues

It has been almost 10 years since my cardiac arrest, in a game for Bolton against Tottenham, and incidents seem to be happening more than ever and to high-profile players.

There has been Iker Casillas at Porto, the current conversation about Sergio Aguero who has had heart problems, Daley Blind at Ajax, and Christian Eriksen, of course.

We are supposed to be the fittest but it’s happening more. If it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone.


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


There is complacency. We have a high-profile incident, talk a lot about it and think we have solved it. But that’s not the case.

Italy’s approach is interesting. They have different rules about what happens after a heart problem that mean you cannot play. It is better to be safe than sorry. 

Stay off the pitch.

Sergio Aguero had to be substituted last month after suffering breathing problems

After an episode like that, it’s not about you any more. You have family and are putting a lot of people at risk every time you play.

A lot of work can be done on training young people to be able to help if someone has a cardiac arrest. 

It should be mandatory to learn how to do this in schools. There should be a defibrillator in every building.

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest against Finland at Euro 2020

Eriksen’s teammates formed a human shield around him as he was being treated on the pitch

We have to be proactive, having refreshers once a year so it’s always fresh in people’s minds how they can help if put in that situation.

I try not to relive what happened to me. It’s a memory I don’t want to revisit. What happened to Eriksen brought it all back. 

But I’m here, I’m thankful I had the right medical care. We can’t lose sight of the importance of this subject.