Enock Mwepu: Fabrice Muamba says Brighton star needs to see ‘bigger picture’

Mwepu scored three goals in 27 appearances for Brighton and won 23 caps for Zambia.

Fabrice Muamba says Brighton midfielder Enock Mwepu needs to remember the “bigger picture” after being forced to retire.

The Premier League club said playing would have an “extremely high risk” of putting Mwepu’s life at risk.

Muamba, whose career ended after cardiac arrest while playing for Bolton in 2012, he is relieved that specialists have identified the issue.

“He’s allowed to feel that his career has been taken away from him at such a young age,” former England Under-21 midfielder Muamba, 34, told BBC Sport.

“At the same time, his loved ones need him now. It would have been much worse if something bad had happened to him during a football game.”

Doctors diagnosed Mwepu’s condition after being hospitalized on a recent trip to Mali with the Zambia National Team.

“At that particular moment, you feel like this thing has been stolen from you without you having a say in it,” said Muamba, who launched an initiative to teach CPR through the messaging app Snapchat.

“But at the same time, you have to look at the bigger picture – it’s not about you anymore. It’s about everyone involved in a football club, it’s about the players you play with.”

Heart problems affecting footballers are rare, but several high-profile players have been affected by problems.

Manchester City’s all-time top scorer, Sergio Aguero he retired from football at the age of 33 after chest discomfort while playing for Barcelona.

Former Manchester United defender Daley Blind was diagnosed with a heart condition in December 2019. returning to the game with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in place.

Current Manchester United midfielder Christian Eriksen, too an ICD has been placed following his cardiac arrest in a Denmark match at Euro 2020 while a midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe died after collapsing during a match in Cameroon in France in 2003.

The Football Association of Zambia led the tributes to Mwepu, while Brighton chairman Tony Bloom pledged the club would be fully behind the player.

“I understand the emotions and the upset, but it’s better to be safe than sorry,” added Muamba, who also played for Arsenal and Birmingham.

“You hope he gets the support he needs.

“I feel like we need to give him time and space to process everything. From there, if he ever wants to talk, I’m there for him.”

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