Sport

Muamba’s New Mission

Since a near-fatal on-pitch cardiac arrest in 2012, Fabrice Muamba has been championing grassroots football. Ahead of the World Cup, he talks ShortList through how to get more involved in the beautiful game

1. Look to the legends

“It doesn’t matter what your background is; football’s simple beauty is that anyone can get involved, wherever they are. We’ve all had that moment when someone scores a goal on TV and you want to go out there and create your own version. For me, it was Zidane scoring for France in the World Cup Final in ’98.”

2. Just get out there

“The campaign I’m promoting [The FA’s Reds V Blues] is pretty simple, it’s just saying go out there and play football, whether it’s five-a-side, three-a-side or 11-a-side. I can’t play any more – but I’ve tried to move on with my life since that incident [the cardiac arrest]. I play golf and I’m studying sports journalism.”

3. Play by day, watch by night

“Football is great for maintaining your fitness levels. With World Cup games in Brazil being shown here at night, we won’t be watching during the day. So why not play football during the day and then watch it at night? It’s great to think of kids watching Steven Gerrard and the boys, and then rushing outside [next morning] to play themselves. You’re never too old.”

4. Let England inspire you

“England have got as good a chance as any other country. You can’t go to a World Cup with fear. Roy Hodgson has done a good job so far, and I expect Daniel Sturridge to do well, but there are 11 guys on the pitch and they’ve all got to do their best. We just have to support them.”

Muamba is promoting Reds V Blues, a new initiative from the FA; thefa.com/lovefootball