Bafetimbi Gomis collapse: When I saw him fall I thought of Fabrice Muamba, says Brad Friedel

The Swansea striker collapsed on the White Hart Lane pitch five minutes into the game with a fainting condition he has lived with since his youth

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The Independent Football

Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel has revealed that he feared the worst when he saw Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis collapse on the pitch in Wednesday’s game at White Hart Lane.

Three years earlier the veteran keeper had watched Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest at the same ground, and said that when Gomis fainted his mind immediately went back to that evening.

“I was sitting in the dugout as I was for the Bolton game,” Friedel said. “As soon as it happened, the first thing that went through my mind was Fabrice. Everybody inside the stadium no doubt had the same thought.

“Anybody who was here at the stadium that night – and even those who weren’t – would have initially thought the worst when they saw Gomis had collapsed. My first thought was ‘Please no, not again’.

Swansea's Bafetimbi Gomis is carried off the pitch on a stretcher (AP)

“We thought it was serious, we knew it wasn’t good. But word got back to us about his condition after a minute or so. That’s why there wasn’t the same panic when he was brought off the field as there was with Fabrice. Thankfully he came off straight away and was conscious. It is good that it seems it wasn’t anything too problematic.”

Gomis collapsed in the centre circle five minutes into the league game with a fainting condition he has lived with since his youth. He was taken to hospital for tests after needing oxygen on the pitch. However, he eventually recovered and afterwards tried to reassure supporters about his condition.

Writing on his Facebook page, he said: “I want to reassure you regarding my health. It looks much more scary than [it is] physically dangerous, and I am feeling well now.”

Gomis has suffered from vasovagal episodes – fainting due to a temporary interruption of the blood supply to the brain – throughout his career, including at previous clubs  St Étienne and Olympique Lyonnais. Gomis explained online that this collapse was due in part to the poor health of his father in France.

“I have been under a great deal of stress and fatigue due to the health of my father,” Gomis said, “that is requiring me to go back and forth to France.”

Swansea manager Garry Monk added: “We understand his history. He has had all the tests but it’s just part of life  for him.”


Lyon doctor Emmanuel Ohrant has previously spoken about Gomis’s health. “Since [he was] 14 years old, Bafe has been the subject of such vasovagal episodes, comparable to a drop in blood pressure, as a lot of people could experience,” he said.

“At [his previous club] St Étienne, he used to faint. We got his whole medical file, and I can testify very exhaustive medical examinations have been made, and he has been put under extreme monitoring.

“The final conclusion is there is no indication he can’t play high-level sport.”