The Tragedy of Marc Vivian Foe – Traumatic Death (Cameroon: Colombia / Confederations Cup Semi-finals 2003 / 26 June 2003).
He was considered by many to be the best midfielder in Cameroon’s history. Marc Vivienne Foé began his sporting career at Canon Yaoundé, one of Cameroon’s largest clubs, where he managed to win the Cameroon Cup title in 1993, the year he began his remarkable international career with the Cameroon national team.
From Mexico’s first international match in September 1993, to June 1994 when Cameroon qualified for the World Cup, Foe was one of Cameroon’s best lions. Although Cameroon’s bid at the 1994 World Cup was very bad and ended early with exclusion from the group stage, Foe played the three games in the group and was the most brilliant player in his country, which led to the interest of many European clubs to include him.
After rejecting Oixir’s offer to run a trial at the club, Foe signed for Lens and spent five successful seasons with them during which he achieved the club the French league title in 1998, the end of which saw great interest from Manchester United, who made an offer of £3 million to sign him, but Lens rejected the offer. Other negotiations were then held between both clubs, but the transfer failed completely this time due to a broken leg during the 1998 World Cup pre-season training, which also caused him to miss the 1998 World Cup.
Foe recovered in a short period and joined Westham, who paid £4.2m in January 1999, and made 38 appearances for the Premier League club, before returning to Ligue 1 – Lyon in 2000, and although he missed a short period of 2000-2001 season due to Malaria, he returned to the team and won the Copa France title, before helping the French team achieve the French league the following season.
Foe participated with Cameroon in another World Cup in 2002, and has made significant levels in his three matches in their group that included the Saudi national team, the German team and the Republic of Ireland. However, the Lions were eliminated again from the group stage after a win over Saudi Arabia, draw with Ireland and a defeat from Germany, three results that put them in third place with 4 points.
Foe returned to the Premier League on a loan to Manchester City in the 2002-2003 season for half a million pounds, and Foy was a key player in the formation of coach Kevin Keegan, to participate in 38 of the team’s 41 games played during the entire season at all levels, scoring 9 goals to become one of the team’s top scorers.
In 2003, after winning the African Cup of Nations with Cameroon in 2002, Foe participated with the Cameroonian team in the Confederations Cup held in France. The march of the Cameroonian team in that tournament was legendary, as The Lions managed to beat the Brazilian team in the group stage, in addition to a victory over the Turkish team and a draw with the American team that put the Cameroonian team at the head of the second group, succeeded by the Turkish team, which climbed by a goal difference from the Brazilian team.
Cameroon qualified for the semi-finals of the tournament, facing Colombia’s second of first set on June 26, 2003 at the Gerland Stadium in Lyon. Quickly, Pius Ndhidi scored the only goal in the game for Samuel Eto’s teammates in the ninth minute.
In the 72nd minute, Foe fell fainting in the middle of the field untouched by any player, and after many attempts to make him wake up through ventilator and doctors’ attempts that lasted for 45 minutes off the field to make his heart work again, and although he was alive all that period, Foe died despite all attempts. While the initial autopsy of the body failed to reveal the cause of death, the final autopsy showed sudden hypertrophy of the heart muscle, due to internal suffocation after the player swallowed the tongue.
The Cameroonian team, for its part, ended its match with the Colombian team by winning a score of 1-0, to face the French team in the final of the tournament, in which the Duke team won, to place the lions in second place, and Foe received the award of the third best player in the tournament, in recognition of his great efforts during the tournament
Foe’s death left a strong shock and sad international sporting echoes, the first of which was what the French team did against the Turkish team in the second semi-finals, when all the players of the French team led by Thierry Henry pointed to the sky after scoring the first goal against the descendants of the Ottomans.
Manchester City coach Kevin Keegan also announced the withdrawal of the number 23 that Foe was wearing with the English club, the number chosen by English football star David Beckham after that to wear with his new team at the time Real Madrid after completing his transfer from Manchester United, in honor of the player.
Also, Manchester City Club placed a small monument to it in the talk of the City of Manchester Stadium, in addition to the presence of paintings donated by fans in the tunnel of the players entering the stadium bearing different pictures of him under the name of the “walk of pride”. Lion, for its part, withdrew the number 17 worn by Foe before leaving on loan to Manchester City, and no player was worn except his compatriot Jean McCon, who moved to Lyon from Lille in the summer of 2008. French club Lins, for its part, named one of the streets near the club’s Felix Puller Stadium after the player, and Foe also awarded a military funeral in Cameroon.