Fabrice Muamba's survival from a cardiac arrest that saw his heart stop beating for 78 minutes was described as "a miracle" by FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Thursday.

Blatter had asked to be kept informed about the Bolton midfielder following his collapse at Tottenham last Saturday and was informed by club chairman Phil Gartside when Muamba regained consciousness. The 23-year-old is still in intensive care but has been able to speak to family and friends.

Blatter, a deeply religious man who accompanied the body of Marc-Vivien Foe back to Cameroon after his death during a Confederations Cup match in France in 2003, said in an interview in Istanbul: "It's a miracle. When I saw it on the television, it was terrible."

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