Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Remembering Marc Vivien Foe (Adieu Marco)

Today is June 26th 2013, exactly ten years since one of Cameroon’s best ever midfielders, the giant, Marc Vivien Foe died in a manner that traumatized us all. In 2003, Cameroon was on fire during the Confederations Cup. In the first game, we defeated World Cup defending champions, Brazil with a thunderbolt Samuel Eto’o shot from midfield that completely lobed over one of the best goalkeepers then, Dida. We sealed our qualification in the second game by defeating a no nonsense Turkey that had emerged third in the 2002 World Cup. After a draw with USA, we played against Columbia in the semi final on June 26th. Before halftime, we were leading 1-0 as usual. Then in the 71st minute of the game, Marc Vivien Foe walked slowly and tumbled onto the ground without contact from any Columbian player. His eyeballs rolled to the back of his sockets such that his eyes went completely white. It was a horrifying sight. He was rushed out for treatment but that completely distorted the psyche of our players to the point that, they couldn’t play at all and resorted to defending when minutes before the fall, they had been terrorizing Columbia’s defense. Luckily, Columbia didn’t score and we won the game. But immediately it ended, the news broke that Foe was dead!!! Seven doctors couldn’t resuscitate him. They said it was heart attack but as usual many Cameroonians blamed it on witchcraft. I still remember the female CRTV journalist reading the news cast in tears. We were all shocked. Someone who had been actively running all over the midfield and delivering amazing passes just minutes ago! Archille Emana couldn’t even conclude his interview. He just stopped talking and went dumb. We played a goalless final against France for ninety minutes. But the young Eto’o had a wonderful game and made a fool of the French defenders especially Marcel Desailly, twice seeping the ball through his feet (nzoloh) even though he didn’t score. Then in extra time, Thiery Henry scored an offside goal which was endorsed by the referee and the French won by thievery. We lost Marco and lost the trophy due to France’s thievery. Ever since Marco died and left that midfield we have not won anything for ten years. Meanwhile when he was there, he marshaled our midfield and we won two Africa Cup of Nations back to back, in 2000 and 2002. Marco rest in peace. I wish all these our cartoon lions copy your example but sadly they have not. “Marco, they di mess bad.” Tanzania, Cape Verde, Libya and Togo now beat us 2-0, 3-0 and we don’t even qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations anymore.