Idris Elba, International Footballers Launch Campaign Against Ebola

Idris ElbaA public awareness campaign was launched on Wednesday, December 3, by international football stars and the British actor, Idris Elba.

It’s focus is to put an end to West Africa’s Ebola epidemic and to show to the health workers fighting the disease, that they are being recognized.

Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia are countries that have been most affected by the Ebola epidemic with a record of more than 6,000 people dead.

The British Actor, Idris Elba, whose parents hail from Sierra Leone and Ghana, said ”For me, the battle against Ebola is a personal one. To see those amazing countries in West Africa where my father grew up and my parents married being ravaged by this disease is painful and horrific.”

The Africa United campaign, unveiled ahead of the African Cup of Nations draw in Equatorial Guinea’s capital Malabo on Wednesday, broadcasts information on the disease and how to stop it spreading in French, English, Krio and other local languages.

Messages would be sent out to the three countries and their neighbours via television, radio, billboards and phone text messages, said organizers.

The campaign was backed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation.

In one of the campaign’s spots, Elba plays a football coach giving a half-time talk during West Africa’s “life or death” match against Ebola and passing on tips on how to spot the disease and prevent new infections.

Footballers Yaya Touré, Carlton Cole, Fabrice Muamba, Andros Townsend, Kei Kamara and Patrick Vieira pay homage to the work of frontline healthcare workers by wearing their names on the backs of their jerseys.

Manchester City midfielder, Touré hails from Ivory Coast, which shares borders with three countries hit by the disease but has so far been spared.

Touré said, “I could not sit back without doing something to help fight Ebola, the campaign pays tribute to the many African heroes who are in the villages, towns and cities using their skills, resourcefulness and intelligence to battle Ebola.”

Bolton offers Muamba off-field role after retirement

Bolton Wanderers offered Fabrice Muamba a place in the management of his club Bolton Wanderers after his announcement that he is retiring from football as a player.

This was necessary for the player after his heart attack in last season’s FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur.

Before his retirement, Muamba sounded his determination to resume his career after his incredible recovery which left him effectively dead for 78 minutes.

So in order not to go against medical advice from several specialists Muamba had to bow out of the game.

Muamba has been described by sources close him as “shattered” that he will be unable to continue his career. But after consultations with experts in England and with Pedro Brugada, the Belgium-based cardiologist, the former England Under-21 midfielder has retired.

Muamba said: “As part of my on-going recovery, last week I travelled to Belgium to seek further medical advice from a leading cardiologist. But the news I received was obviously not what I had hoped it would be, and it means I am now announcing my retirement.

“Football has been my life since I was a teenage boy and it has given me so many opportunities. Since ­suffering my heart attack and being discharged from hospital, I have remained utterly positive in the belief I could one day resume my playing career and play for Bolton Wanderers once again.

Student jailed for inciting racial hatred against Fabrice Muamba

A student who mocked footballer Fabrice Muamba on Twitter after the Bolton Wanderers midfielder collapsed during a match was jailed on Tuesday for inciting racial hatred.

Liam Stacey, 21, provoked revulsion with comments made while the Bolton Wanderers star still lay on the pitch.

The 23-year-old midfielder was left fighting for his life after suffering a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur on March 17.

Fans in the stadium and those viewing on live television watched in horror as Muamba fell to the ground during the quarter-final clash that was abandoned.

Police were inundated with complaints as members of the public, former soccer player Stan Collymore among them, reported the student’s comments.

Stacey, a Swansea University third-year biology undergraduate, was quickly tracked down and arrested.

Last week he admitted inciting racial hatred when he appeared at Swansea Magistrates’ Court and on Tuesday he was jailed for 56 days at the same court, the Press Association reported.

The first of Stacey’s messages began with “LOL (laugh out loud) and said Muamba had died.

Several people took him to task for his views and he responded with a string of offensive comments aimed at other Twitter users.

Muamba remains in intensive care in hospital where his condition is described as serious but stable.

Stacey broke down as he was taken away in handcuffs to a holding cell beneath the court.

District Judge John Charles told him: “In my view there is no alternative to an immediate prison sentence.”

The court heard that, when arrested, Stacey admitted his guilt and said he had been drunk at the time.

On the day in question, he had been out watching Wales’s rugby grand slam victory and had drunk up to eight pints of beer.

Gareth Jones, defending, said Stacey was completely ashamed of his behaviour.

“On the night in question his comments were vile – he admits that,” Jones said.

Stacey has ambitions to become a forensic scientist.

That was now very unlikely, Jones said, and he would “pay dearly for the rest of his life” for what he had done.

 

Muamba able to recognise family, says hospital

Muamba hale and hearty before his cardian arrest

Bolton Wanderers’ Fabrice Muamba has been able to recognise family members and respond to questions appropriately after suffering a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup quarter-final, the hospital has confirmed.

But although the 23-year-old midfielder is continuing to show signs of improvement but his condition remains serious in intensive care, the London Chest Hospital said in a statement.

“He is currently able to breathe independently without the aid of a ventilator,” the statement continued.

Earlier, the hospital said Muamba’s heart was beating without the help of medication and he was moving his arms and his legs but his long-term prognosis remained unclear.

Muamba collapsed on the pitch at Tottenham Hotspur where he was given CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) before being taken to hospital.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter was among those to offer support for the England Under-21 international with a letter to Bolton chairman Phil Gartside.

“On behalf of the worldwide football family, I would like to express my shock and distress on hearing about the cardiac arrest suffered by Fabrice Muamba during Saturday’s FA Cup tie and wish him strength as he continues to fight to recover from this critical condition,” Blatter wrote.

“Moments like these show us what is truly important in life and also illustrate the great solidarity that exists between football fans in times of trouble.”

PLAYERS OVERWHELMED

Bolton captain Kevin Davies told the club website (www.bwfc.co.uk) the players had been overwhelmed by the reaction following Muamba’s collapse.

“We all owe a big thank you to everyone that was on the scene; the paramedics and medical staff from both our club and Tottenham Hotspur. I’ve been at the hospital with the chairman and the manager, and we’re all thankful for the amazing help and support everyone has shown for Fabrice,” Davies said.

“Fab is not only one of our colleagues and a workmate but he’s a friend, father and son – he’s one of life’s good guys.

“I think I was in the same position as everyone else. We were following the play and suddenly someone said ‘Fabrice has gone down’. Then it all unfolded from there really. It became very serious within a matter of seconds,” added the Bolton striker.

“I think it was the first time in my 19 years as a professional that I’ve seen a football stadium unite. It was touching.”

Supporters from both clubs sang Muamba’s name at White Hart Lane when it became clear his condition was serious while players gathered round in shock.

The match was abandoned at 1-1 just before halftime and Bolton’s game with Aston Villa on Tuesday has been postponed.

Tottenham players have been offered extra heart checks following the incident, Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said.

“We will be providing players with whatever support they need in order to help them move on from what has happened while obviously always keeping Fabrice at the forefront of our minds and willing him to make a recovery,” he told the Tottenham website (www.tottenhamhotspur.com)

“We already had a cardiologist visiting the training ground today for routine screening so we are able to offer any player who wishes to be tested for the purpose of reassurance an additional opportunity to be screened.”

Muamba shows signs of improvement after cardiac arrest

Fabrice Muamba is showing “small signs of improvement” after suffering a cardiac arrest during Bolton Wanderers’ FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, the hospital said in a statement on Monday.

The 23-year-old Bolton midfielder remains critically ill in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital but his heart is now beating without the help of medication and he is also moving his arms and his legs.

The statement added that Muamba’s long-term prognosis remains unclear and he will continue to be closely monitored.

Muamba collapsed on the White Hart Lane pitch where he was given CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) before being taken to hospital.

Supporters from both clubs sang Muamba’s name when it became clear his condition was serious while players from both teams gathered round in shock.

The match was abandoned at 1-1 just before halftime and Bolton’s game with Aston Villa on Tuesday has been postponed.

Support for Muamba has poured in from across the globe.