South Africa’s 2010 World Cup bid committee were joined by African football legends Roger Milla, George Weah and Abedi Pele in visiting the grave of the late Marc-Vivien Foe during a trip to Cameroon. The Indomitable Lions’ star collapsed during a Confederations Cup game against Colombia on 26 June in France.
The bid committee was in Yaounde after attending the burial of Roger Milla’s wife Evelyne, who died in January.
She was involved in a road accident in Cameroon and was evacuated to France where she passed away.
Cameroon’s Milla has been signed up as an ambassador for South Africa’s bid and bid leader Danny Jordaan said that they should all share in the footballer’s sorrow.
The committee visited Foe’s grave which is at the centre of the sports complex that he began to build before his untimely death, and is still under construction on the outskirts of Yaounde.
Pele of Ghana and Weah of Liberia, who are also ambassadors for the South African bid, joined the committee in laying wreaths on Foe’s grave.
In an emotional speech, Abedi talked of Foe’s death as a great loss to African football and he tearfully urged his family to take courage.
“We know how heavy your sorrow is, but you must be able to overcome this big loss,” Abedi said.
“We will continue to stand by your side and help with the necessary support for you to live on.”
Abedi Pele lays a wreath on Marc-Vivien Foe’s grave
Abedi’s emotion seemed to touch everyone especially Foe’s mother and widow who broke down in tears.
Weah also struggled to hold back his own tears as he struggled to find a few words for Foe.
“We want to assure you (Foe) that we’ll never forget you,” Weah said.
“Small brother, the news of your death was a very devastating one, but God will help us get over this grief.”
A short prayer from Weah provided some relief to the participants who included Cameroon’s football ambassador, Milla as well as officials from Cameroon’s football federations.
Jordaan said that just like Abedi and Weah Foe was an African son who made the continent proud, which is why they felt they had to pay their respects to him.
Milla and Foe’s father, Martin, appealed for help for the family so that they can finish the sports complex.
“The family is using the little finance that it has to continue construction work, but we are not sure whether we will be able to see the project through.”
The centre is estimated to cost US $10 million but only about 20 per cent of the work on the facility has so far been completed.