Further to the official statement released yesterday on the tragic death of Cameroon player Marc-Vivien Foé in Lyons on 26 June, 2003, the following statement gives a chronological account of what happened in the stadium Gerland in Lyons. More details on the exact cause of death will be released as a result of an autopsy in the coming days.
The following report was made by the FIFA Delegation in charge of the venue of Lyons: General Coordinator Henny Smorenburg (Netherlands), Medical Officer Dr Alfred Müller (Switzerland) and Media Officer Pedro Salazar-Hewitt (Chile).
Time 0’00 (72 min. of the match)- Moving alone in midfield, the player collapses onto the pitch for no apparent reason.
Time 0’05 - A player from the Colombian team signals urgently to the referee for medical assistance and immediately proceeds with the right treatment (lifting the player’s chin to facilitate breathing). The player concerned is still visibly breathing. His eyes are rolled back so that only the whites are visible. This may be the sign of the beginning of coma.
The Cameroon team doctor takes over by continuing treatment to facilitate the player’s breathing.
Time 2’00 - The player is carried off the field of play on a stretcher and treatment is continued beside the touchline.
Time 3’20 - The player receives additional assistance from a local French doctor.
Time 5’15 - The player is taken to the first-aid station in the stadium. In order to stabilise the player’s condition the head French doctor present takes the decision to keep the player in the first aid station instead of transporting him in an ambulance to hospital. An ambulance is in any case ready on standby to transport the player to hospital, if need be.
The first-aid station is fully equipped to offer the same medical assistance/treatment as a hospital.
Treatment in the First Aid Station: - Upon entering the first-aid station the player was still in the same condition as he had been on the pitch. He was given an infusion and oxygen. During this process the heart stopped beating and reanimation treatment was immediately started. Reanimation entailed giving heart massage, intubation followed by machine-assisted breathing, heart shocks, and medical intravenous treatment.
Reanimation was started approximately 7 minutes after entering the first-aid station (this means 12-13 minutes after the player first collapsed on the field of play). Reanimation continued for approximately 45 minutes, until 20.20. Official time of death: 20.20.
Following the player’s death, the FIFA General Coordinator and FIFA doctor took the head of the Cameroon team delegation into the GC’s office to inform him officially of the player’s death. This was immediately followed by a press conference in which the FIFA doctor, A. Mueller, accompanied by the FIFA media officer, made an official announcement to the press concerning the player’s death.
At the request of the Cameroon delegation and with the approval of the coroner, the Cameroon team members were given the opportunity to take leave of their deceased team-mate. The Colombian and Cameroon teams did not leave the stadium until after the player’s body had been carried away.
In accordance with the coroner’s decision, further details on the exact cause of death will be revealed as a result of an autopsy in the next few days.
Additional information: The player was reported to be suffering from diarrhoea two days before the match. In St. Etienne a diagnosis of blood tests was made at the hospital , the results being all right.. It was confirmed that there was no infection Treatment was infusion of NACL and Immodium. On the evening of 25th June 2003 the player felt well. This was the information given by the doctor of the Cameroon team to FIFA Dr Mueller.