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Dirty Tackle

FA Cup match abandoned, players pray after Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba collapses

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

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Tottenham's Gareth Bale (center) consoles Jermain Defoe as Fabrice Muamba is treated. (Getty)

Bolton's 23-year-old midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed in the 42nd minute of his side's FA Cup quarterfinal match against Tottenham on Saturday, prompting resuscitation efforts on the pitch as both teams and every fan at White Hart Lane looked on in horror. After Muamba, a husband and father of one, was carried off while still undergoing treatment, the match was abandoned. (UPDATE: Bolton have released an official update on Muamba stating that he has "been admitted to the Heart Attack Centre at the London Chest Hospital where he is currently in a critically ill condition in intensive care.") We won't be showing or linking to video of Muamba's collapse as that seems in poor taste.

[Bolton's Fabrice Muamba hospitalized after in-game collapse]

There were no other players near Muamba when he collapsed face down. He was then turned on his back as medics began treatment.

From the AP:

Medics rushed onto the field with a defibrillator and treated the 23-year-old Muamba, pumping his chest for around six minutes of treatment.

Some players appeared to be praying as fans chanted his name between periods of silence at White Hart Lane.

After Muamba was carried off on a stretcher with an oxygen mask and with his chest still being pumped, all the players also left the field before referee Howard Webb abandoned the quarterfinal.

Bolton released a brief statement confirming that Muamba was taken to a hospital after his collapse.

One of the players praying on the pitch was Tottenham's Rafael van der Vaart, who, like everyone around Muamba at the time, immediately seemed to know he was fighting for his life.

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Tottenham's Rafael van der Vaart prays on the pitch while Muamba is treated.

Though Muamba has represented England at the youth level, he was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo before fleeing an extremely violent civil war at the age of 11 that forced his father to seek political asylum in England and cost his uncle his life.

"It was very difficult. It's been a long journey. Some people look at footballers and think it is about the cars and lifestyle, but don't understand how it was for some of us who changed life from Africa," Muamba told The Mirror in October.

"I'm not the most talented footballer but I know what I can do and what I need to do to stay where I am. I just keep myself to myself and enjoy what I have and hopefully move on to better things. I want to enjoy all life can give to me."

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Muamba with his son Joshua in January. (@fmuamba)

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