Wife: My husband should not have been playing

  • Other Sport
  • Sunday, 29 Jun 2003

LONDON: The distraught wife of stricken Cameroon footballer Marc-Vivien Foe, who collapsed during the Confederations Cup semi-final against Colombia on Thursday and later died, has hit out at her husband's selection for the game. 

A post mortem on the 28-year-old Manchester City forward ruled out a heart attack as the cause of death and Foe's wife Marie-Louise has revealed that her husband had been experiencing gastric problems in the days leading up to the tragedy. 

“He should not have been playing at all. He desperately wanted to play for his country in France, in his adopted home town of Lyon,” said the 26-year-old as she wept, recalling how he had seen a doctor on the day of the match, played in 32 degree (80 Fahrenheit) temperatures. 

“But doctors should have stopped him. He'd had dysentery for two or three days. He'd had gastric problems and he knew he probably wasn't well enough to play. 

“When he collapsed I never for a moment thought he would die. I assumed he'd get up and walk away, or recover on the sidelines. The family is in utter shock.” 

The football world is still in mourning after the shock death of one of football's truly popular players. 

Foe was known widely in football circles because he had played at French clubs Lens and Lyon before moving on loan to Manchester City in the English Premiership last year. 

He had also been close to joining Manchester United three years ago until a broken leg ended his chance of joining Alex Ferguson's former European Cup winning team. 

Foe was standing alone in the middle of the pitch when, in the 72nd minute, he suddenly collapsed. Players and doctors rushed to aid him and he was soon carried off on a stretcher. 

He was pronounced dead shortly after the game, a 1-0 win for African champions Cameroon, had ended. 

Results from toxicology tests on Foe are expected to be released in the next few days. 

After deep reflection, Foe's Cameroon team-mates have decided to play today's final against tournament hosts France, however as a competition the tournament seems already over. 

France's Manchester United defender Mikael Sylvestre suggested a fitting outcome would be to have “two winners”. 

“That's a possibility that doesn't displease me,” he said. 

Cameroon will take to the field in shirts emblazoned with Foe's name as a tribute to their fallen team-mate. – AFP 

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