At a meeting held at the headquarters of the Cameroon national team delegation in St. Etienne this morning, FIFA President Joseph Blatter, FIFA Confederations Cup event manager Walter Gagg and three members of the FIFA delegation at the Lyons venue met the President of the Confédération Africaine de Football, Issa Hayatou, the President of the Cameroon Football Federation, Mohamed Iya, the Cameroon Minister for Sport, Bidoung Mkpatt, and Roger Milla.
During this very emotional meeting, Blatter conveyed his sincere condolences to Cameroon’s aforementioned representatives on behalf of FIFA and the Organising Committee for the FIFA Confederations Cup. Blatter stressed that the death of Marc-Vivien Foé was a great loss for the people of Cameroon and the football family as a whole, but above all for the player’s loved ones.
The Cameroon Minister for Sport, Bidoung Mkpatt, responded by thanking the President for his kind words and expressed his gratitude for the significant gesture made by the President and the FIFA delegation by coming to St. Etienne to personally offer FIFA’s support. He added that this was a tragedy for the whole of Cameroon and that the country would have to stand together to overcome this loss.
Following the meeting, Blatter and the FIFA delegation met the members of the Cameroon national team. Blatter stressed to the players that they would have to maintain their inner strength at this difficult time in order to overcome the blow that life had dealt them. He also said that Cameroon had always been a strong football country and that the national team, as the pride of the nation, was showing exemplary sporting spirit by having decided to participate in the final match of the Confederations Cup in Paris on 29 June 2003. The Cameroon team will play this match bearing the name of Marc-Vivien Foé across the front of their shirts.
The meeting with the team was concluded with everyone joining hands and praying for the player and his family.
The FIFA delegation then headed for the city of Lyons with the entire Cameroon delegation, including the national team members, representatives of the Cameroon Ministry of Sport, CAF and the Cameroon Football Federation, in order to pay their respects and to offer their support to the player’s close family members.
President Blatter and Walter Gagg returned to Paris the same day.