Miracle Recovery
Fabrice Muamba made a miraculous recovery even after being "dead" for 78 minutes, thanks to the instant and adequate medical attention REUTERS

In the shadow of the tragedy that struck and still surrounds Bolton Wanderers' midfielder Fabrice Muamba, the world of sports suffered another, eerily similar, blow. Only this time there was no worldwide media attention.

On Wednesday, in a local league game in India, a 28-year-old footballer, D Venkatesh, playing for Bangalore Mars, suffered a cardiac arrest, while on the pitch. His condition was similar to Mumaba's - who collapsed while playing for Bolton while playing in a FA Cup match.

However, while paramedics rushed to Muamba's side in London and the 23-year-old father of one was rushed to the hospital, the footballer in Bangalore relied on his team mates hiring an auto-rickshaw to go to a local hospital; there were no doctors at the ground, much less an ambulance. Venkatesh was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

This is not the first such tragic waste of life in Indian football. A country that treats all sports, outside of cricket, as second-class citizens, can offer its athletes no excuse and no promise of medical care when it is most needed.

Another club, Dempo, lost Brazilian forward Cristiano Junior, after he collided with Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Subrata Paul, in the 2004 Federation Cup. In 2009, during a league match between BEML and the Southern Blues, the former club's striker - Jotin Singh - suffered a serious injury after Blues' keeper Saravana's boots made contact with his abdomen. The player was unconscious and he too had to be taken to the hospital in an auto-rickshaw. HAL goalkeeper Arun Kumar was also a victim of inadequate medical care, around a year ago.

Venkatesh's death is another reminder of abysmal medical conditions at football grounds in India. One need only ask oneself this question to understand the gap - what would the nation's reaction be if Sachin Tendulkar suffered an injury while playing in a cricket match... and treatment was delayed.

Back in England, a life-threatening injury to Chelsea keeper Petr Cech, in a league match against Reading in 2006, led to a review of medical standards in English stadiums. Those reviews are probably what saved Muamba's life.

Had there been a similar review after Cristiano Junior's death in India, then Venkatesh may yet be alive.