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03 October 2016

Legendary Rigobert Song still in coma, set for transfer to France

songAfrican football legend Rigobert Song is still in critical condition as he fights for his life in a health center in Cameroon.

The decorated former Indomitable Lions captain sustained a cardiac arrest at his exclusive Bastos home in Yaounde on Sunday. He was rushed to the Yaounde Practising Hospital.

Doctors confirmed his cardiac arrest, but have since transferred the ex-footballer to the Central Des Ugence de Yaounde on Monday afternoon. But officials are working to get him to France for more specialized care immediately his condition allows.

Murum Divine, an official of the Cameroon Football Association, tells Joy Sports that the mood in the country is one of shock after the news hit the local media. “He had been very well and throughout last week he was regularly seen at the offices of the Cameroonian football federation”.

Song, 40, has been back home since his appointment with the Chad national team ended a few months ago.

“Cameroonians were looking forward to him, being one of our legends, to take the National ‘A’ team [the CHAN team] to the next level and so the news was not a good one for us at all,” Murum tells Joy Sports.

The football world was quick to unite in support of the popular ex-player, who won more than 100 caps for Cameroon.

Fellow Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o posted a picture of Song with the caption: “I wish you a lot of courage and a speedy recovery big brother!”

THE LION

Song is as famous for his uncompromising style of defending as much as he is for his flamboyant and colurful dreadlocks in his storied career.

He  played for the Indomitable Lions between 1993 and 2010, winning two African Nations’ Cup titles. In that time, he featured for Liverpool, Galatasaray, West Ham United and Metz among others.

Song remains the most experienced player in the history of Cameroonian football with 137 appearances, spanning four FIFA World Cups in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010. The ex-West ham, Trabzonspor and Liverpool defender also featured in an incredible eight Africa Cup of Nations, where he still holds the record of 35 consecutive first team games.

Song also won two Afcon titles with the Indomitable Lions. The first was in 2000, after Cameroon beat Nigeria 4-3 on penalties.

That same year, his legend in his nation was cemented when, earlier in the season, then-Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier refused to release him for the 2000 Olympic Games but Song, as his nation’s captain insisted.

Cameroon eventually won gold, vindicating his decision.

In 2002, he led Cameroon to win another Afcon, when they defeated Senegal 3-2 on penalties.

Source: Ghana/Joy Sports

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