The world of football has been paying tribute to Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe, who died on Thursday 26 June following the FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final match versus Colombia at the Stade Gerland in Lyon.
Foe, who was 28, was a well-travelled professional, playing in his native country (Canon Yaounde), France (RC Lens and Lyon) and England (West Ham United and Manchester City). A giant of a man, he stood 1.94m, Foe was an unmistakable figure on the park and a popular man among his team-mates. Foe scored eight times in his 64 international appearances and was part of the Indomitable Lions team at the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA™ and Korea/Japan 2002, but missed France 98 after suffering a broken leg prior to the tournament.
Jacques Santini (French coach and Foe's former boss at Lyon)
As soon as we learned the news, we tried to come to terms with it. We didn’t know if all the players had heard but seeing the state Greg (Coupet) was in when we got back to the dressing room we realised this was going to be an extremely emotional evening. I praise my players’ mental strength. They played like men and I can only congratulate them. What happened when we got back to our dressing room before the referee called us out cannot be described with words. Tonight my thoughts are with his wife, his family and his team-mates.
Thierry Henry (French striker)
Everybody knew him. I’d played many times against Marc in France and in England. I know it’s not much but I’d like to dedicate my goal to him.
Gregory Coupet (French goalkeeper and Foe's former team-mate at Lyon)
Marco (Foe) was a great man and a big brother for some of us. In playing this game we wanted to pay him homage and show we were proud to have known him. Marc-Vivien was like that. A rock! I don’t know how the Cameroon players will find the strength to play the Final. No doubt they’ll want to win it for him.
Marcel Desailly (French captain)
ootball means very little in such circumstances. I am extremely sad.
Senol Gunes (Turkish coach)
This game was played in celebration of fair play and friendship on the field. We are all extremely sorry about what happened. I told my players the news just before the kick off and, of course, they were very surprised. Nobody expected it. If we’d won tonight, we would have dedicated our victory to Marc-Vivien Foé. On behalf of the Turkish national team and the Turkish FA, I would like to address my sincerest condolences to his family and to the Cameroon Football Federation.
Mikael Silvestre (French defender)
We heard about it after warming up. But playing was the best thing we could have done. We're thinking above all about the Cameroon team
Olivier Dacourt (French midfielder)
A lot of us knew him very well and it was extremely difficult to play this game. When news like this reaches you, it is very hard to concentrate.
Francisco Maturana (Colombian coach)
We are very sad; football has taken a back seat after tonight’s tragedy. What happened deeply affected us as we formed part of the scene. It has touched our lives.