FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter today wrote to the South African Football Association to express his sadness at the death of former national team coach April Phumo, who passed away in hospital yesterday following a battle with cancer.

Phumo, known affectionately as ‘Styles’, took charge of Bafana Bafana for a short period in 2004 and oversaw their campaign at the 2004 CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia, which ended with a group-stage exit.

Blatter wrote: “Personally, and on behalf of FIFA, I would like to extend sincerest condolences to his friends and family and the footballing communities in South Africa and Lesotho. Our thoughts and sympathy are with you at this time of sadness.

“He will be remembered for his dedication to both the men’s and the women’s game, particularly youth development which is so important for bringing through the players of tomorrow, and his experience, knowledge and passion for the game will be sorely missed.”

As well as coaching national youth teams for South Africa, Phumo also had spells with Bloemfontein Celtic and the Lesotho national team.