Footballer David Ginola in coma

Footballer David Ginola is in hospital in a coma after suffering a suspected heart attack on the pitch during a football game in the south of France.

The former Newcastle United player is said to have suffered a cardiac arrest and fallen unconscious on a football pitch at the home of Jean-Stéphane Camerini – the organiser of the Mapauto Golf Cup – in the Mandelieu region on Tuesday afternoon.

French media initially reported that the former French international suffered a cardiac arrest but his agent later took to his official Twitter account to ease fears and claim he was simply struck down with heatstroke after ‘playing footy in the midday heat’.

However, a journalist who witnessed the entire medical episode last night said Ginola is ‘not in a good state’ and not out of the woods yet, raising renewed fears for the father-of-two’s health.

Speaking on nightly French TV show L’Équipe du Soir, Jean Philippe Lustyk – who was by Ginola’s side during the incident at around 4.30pm yesterday – said the situation remains ‘very dramatic’.

Explaining Ginola’s collapse, he said: ‘The emergency services arrived at the scene within 15 minutes of the incident. And today we cannot know (what is going to happen).

‘He is in a stationary state. He is in a coma. There was a cardiac arrest, he had a heart attack on the pitch. He fell in front of us.

‘And if he has been saved, I am using the conditional tense because the situation right now is still very dramatic. Contrary to what was announced on social media, notably by his agent. At no moment was David Ginola in a good state. 

‘There was a message on Twitter: “I am fine, don’t worry.” This is absolutely not the case. Sadly, no. He remains in a stationary state. And so nobody can know anything.

‘The emergency services have indicated that the initial response came from Olivier Girault and Matt Pokora who were on the pitch with him… They ran towards him, first of all to prevent him from swallowing his own tongue and second of all they administered the first cardiac massages when Ginola’s pulse was not there.

‘So during those crucial 15 minutes before the emergency services arrived, they prevented him from being dead… At the moment we absolutely cannot know David’s state.’