June 26, 2003

Cameroon 's Marc-Vivien Foe dies after collapsing during Confederations Cup semi-final: An absolute tragedy, not just for fans of the Lions, Lyon, West Ham and Man City, but for the entire game. Deaths on the pitch (in this case, a suspected heart attack) are so rare, and as a result, all the more shocking. [more inside]

posted by etagloh to soccer at 03:48 PM - 8 comments

We know very little about what happened, but I'm sure the question will be asked: was the Confederations Cup, an unnecessary tournament at the end of a long European season, too much football? It might be irrelevant -- tragedy might have struck on a wet Tuesday in February -- but it's an immediate thought.

posted by etagloh at 03:50 PM on June 26

but it's an immediate thought. Not to me...i play all year...i'm 34, i'm not a professional football player. Some people just die all of a sudden. He must have had a bad heart...maybe he was taking some kind of enhancement drug. Are they going to do an autopsy?

posted by StarFucker at 04:11 PM on June 26

I watched it happen live on Eurosport, and it was obvious something was seriously wrong the moment he went down. His eyes immediately rolled back in his head and he did not flicker despite all the ministrations, including hefty face slaps, of the first aiders. It was a sickening sight even before you knew he was dead. The players did not seem all that bothered, and at the end the Cameroon players celebrated mightily, while me and my Mrs were sat there saying, but what about their mate, don't they care? We supposed because of this he had a history of collapsing in a heap for no reason, so it was no big deal. But the sight of his lifeless eyes rolling back in his head stayed with me and I thought they were just callous bastards. The semi final went ahead and I suppose the final will too, but I can't see that there will be any glory in it.

posted by Fat Buddha at 05:13 PM on June 26

Article I read said he only played about 150 minutes in the tournament, out of three full matches, so doesn't seem like to much extra exertion. More likely as Fooker said, something else that was perhaps simply triggered by body state. Related: Jim Fixx.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:16 PM on June 26

They still celebrated mightily?!

posted by StarFucker at 05:18 PM on June 26

I heard the temperature out there was pretty hot. That's got to have had an effect. On a side note, Eurosport are incompetent bastards. I was flicking through the channels at about 7:45 tonight and ended up on Sky Sports News. There was a newsflash on the infobar about Foe's death. When they came back from an ad break, they did a quick story with the facts as they were then known. I switched to Channel Five. They had just started discussing the news. I switched to Eurosport. They were still discussing the upcoming match with the studio panel. They switched to stadium coverage with the main commentator without a mention of it. In fact they made no mention of it at all right up to the point at which the one minute's silence started. I got the distinct impression that the commentator simply didn't know himself until he heard the stadium announcer tell the crowd. Unbelievable.

posted by salmacis at 06:37 PM on June 26

There was no mention of it in the post match analysis on Eurosport either, which I found odd. I don't think they had a clue what to do, and as they are all probably sat in a studio in Slough, they were probably as clueless as us. Starfucker, they did celebrate mightily. They wouldn't have realised at that point that the guy was dead, but the manner of his departure was so unusual and distressing; I mean the guy did not move, at all, he did look well, lifeless, as they took him off, I would have thought their first thought would have been for him.

posted by Fat Buddha at 03:09 AM on June 27

As a mark of respect, Man City have retired Foe's number 23 shirt. Fair play to them, it's a nice gesture.

posted by squealy at 12:08 PM on June 27

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