Fabrice Muamba has told how watching Christian Eriksen’s collapse brought back painful memories of his cardiac arrest during a football match nine years ago.
The former Bolton Wanderers midfielder came close to death when his heart stopped beating for 78 minutes during an FA Cup quarter final against Tottenham Hotspur in March 2012.
Although he hoped to return to play for the club, he retired from professional football five months later on medical advice.
Muamba said that it was “scary” to watch Eriksen’s collapse during the Euro 2020 match between Denmark and Finland.
As the incident unfolded he tweeted the short message: “Please God”.
He told BBC News that the “first five or six minutes, God, I’m telling you man, it is horrible.”
“It brought back stuff that I have put down in me, the emotions I have just had deep down in there and never wanted to relive it again,” Muamba added.
“To watch it from that distance and not knowing what was going to happen – it’s scary.”
Eriksen was treated on the pitch and appeared to be awake as he was taken away on a stretcher to hospital.
It was later confirmed that his condition had stabilised and both teams agreed to resume the match.
Meanwhile, Professor Sanjay Sharma, professor of sports cardiology at London’s St George’s University, said UK football bodies would likely to be “very strict” about allowing Christian Eriksen to play football again.
Prof Sharma, who worked with Eriksen during his time at Tottenham, said: “Clearly something went terribly wrong.
“But they managed to get him back, the question is what happened? And why did it happen?
“This guy had normal tests all the way up to 2019 so how do you explain this cardiac arrest?”
Prof Sharma, who chairs the FA’s expert cardiac consensus group and is a consultant for charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), said there were multiple reasons a cardiac arrest could have taken place, such as high temperatures or an unidentified condition.
But he said reports that Eriksen was awake in hospital was “a very good sign”.
“I’m very pleased. The fact he’s stable and awake, his outlook is going to be very good,” he told the PA news agency.
“I don’t know whether he’ll ever play football again.
“Without putting it too bluntly, he died today, albeit for a few minutes, but he did die and would the medical professional allow him to die again?
“The answer is no.”
- Eriksen may not play football again, says cardiologist
- Denmark doctor: Eriksen was ‘gone’ after suffering cardiac arrest
- Eriksen discharged from hospital after defibrillator operation
- Stay strong – Cristiano Ronaldo tells Eriksen after midfielder collapsed
- Denmark 0-1 Finland: Game overshadowed by Eriksen collapse