The world of futsal has lost one of its most colourful characters. Belgian coach Damien Knabben has passed away at the age of 64 after a long and difficult illness.

The world of futsal is mourning the loss of Damien Knabben. The news came as a great shock to the entire world of futsal that the Belgian had died on 2 April 2006 at the age of 64, after a long and difficult illness. Knabben - a friendly face who always remained humble, whatever the circumstances - leaves a wife and children.

The last event that Knabben got to take part in was the FIFA Futsal World Championship Chinese Taipei 2004, where the internationally acclaimed trainer took on the enormous challenge of coaching the home country, coaxing better and better performances out of the team as the tournament progressed.

Knabben gave his whole life to futsal, using all of his knowledge and commitment to promote the game and take it up to a higher level. In his earlier years, he had a 12-year stint at the helm of the Belgian national team. Quite apart from his coaching duties, he found time to become one of FIFA and UEFA's most respected futsal instructors. He also took on the additional responsibility of being a director of the national futsal coaching school of the Belgian Federation (KBVB).

FIFA will be sending its written condolences to the KBVB and also to Knabben's family.