Soccer-Former South Africa coach Clive Barker dies

FILE PHOTO: Football Soccer - World Cup Qualifier - South Africa vs Congo - Johannesburg, South Africa - August 16, 1997 South African Coach Clive Barker REUTERS/Action Images/File Photo

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Clive Barker, the charismatic coach who ensured success for South Africa at the Africa Cup of Nations and got them into their first World Cup finals, died on Saturday, a family statement said.

The 78-year-old Barker was coach of the South African side that won the 1996 Cup of Nations on home soil in the country’s first participation in the tournament.

He also oversaw the side's qualification for the World Cup in France two years later, although he was sacked six months before the finals kicked off.

Barker defied apartheid regulations in the 1970s to coach teams in South Africa’s black townships and had a 40-year career coaching numerous clubs in the top flight of South African football, winning the league three times.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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