Fabrice Muamba: 'FIFA must consider players in Qatar 2022 decision'
November 21, 2013 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Fabrice Muamba wept as he addressed the crowd at White Hart Lane -- the English soccer ground where he collapsed due to cardiac arrest during a match in March 2012.
Closure for Muamba
Eyes of the world
Flame still burns
- Fabrice Muamba wants FIFA to put player welfare at the center of Qatar 2022 decision
- Muamba retired after suffering on-field cardiac arrest in March 2012
- The former England Under-21 midfielder's heart stopped for 78 minutes
- No decision on the scheduling of Qatar 2022 will be made until after 2014 World Cup
(CNN) -- He is the player whose heart stopped beating for 78 minutes and who subsequently retired at the age of 24.
Now the welfare of footballers is top of Fabrice Muamba's agenda and he has urged FIFA to put the wellbeing of players at the center of any decision on the scheduling of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced on Twitter last month that no decision on the staging of the 2022 World Cup -- be it in Qatar's summer or winter -- would be made until after the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
"I hope FIFA will have a second thought because playing in those conditions is very dangerous for people," the 25-year-old told CNN.
"The heat and the humidity in that country can damage people; they have to look at the bigger picture."
Fabrice Muamba on playing soccer again
Muamba: I've played football again
Former England Under-21 international Muamba suffered an on-field heart seizure while playing for Bolton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur in March 2012.
Read: Emotional Muamba gets closure
The Congo-born midfielder was revived by medics before making a remarkable recovery in hospital.
"You worry, not just me but every player," continued Muamba. "The humidity, the heat, playing in those conditions it is very worrying."
President of world football's governing body since 1998, Blatter launched a consultation process on the issue involving "all stakeholders in Qatar 2022."
Harold Mayne-Nicholls led the FIFA inspection team which examined each of the bidding countries for the 2022 World Cup before delivering his report in October 2010.
Mayne-Nicholls concluded that Qatar was a high-risk option because of its soaring temperatures -- but it was still chosen by 14 of the 22 executive committee members in the final round of voting in December that year.
Fabrice Muamba shaking hands with Dr Andrew Deaner (left) and Dr Sam Mohiddin (right) from Barts Health NHS Trust. The 24-year-old Bolton Wanderers midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest during a match against Tottenham Hotspur on March 17.
Fabrice Muamba leaves hospital
Fans of Bolton Wanderers and a host of other football clubs lay shirts outside of the Reebok Stadium in a show of support for Fabrice Muamba.
Fabrice Muamba tributes
"In June and July you cannot play," Mayne-Nicholls told CNN last month when asked about the conditions in Qatar.
"It's not for the players. The players will be OK with the cooling system but what about the fans?
"You'll have 50,000 fans walking three, four, even six blocks or more like in South Africa where I walked 10 blocks.
"They will be walking in 40 degrees and it's too much. One or two crucial cases will damage the entire image of the World Cup and we must be careful."
Read: Devastated Muamba retires from football
Muamba is pleased his experiences have raised awareness of heart conditions in football, but he wants to see the sport continue to prioritize player safety.
"We're trying to reach a standard where we're providing the best available equipment for the boys," said Muamba, who began his career with Arsenal. "Also making sure every player gets a heart screen so we detect any damage or any medical issue.
"What I tried to do was raise awareness of sudden cardiac arrest, having a defibrillator not just in the stadium but in every public place so we can save lives and ensure peoples safety."
Read: Amnesty International -- Qatar rife with migrant worker abuse
Read: Qatar 2022 defends World Cup project
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
Today's five most popular stories