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Last Updated: Monday, 7 July, 2003, 22:33 GMT 23:33 UK
State funeral for Foe
By Martin Etonge in Cameroon

Marc-Vivien Foe's body is taken to be buried
Cameroon's international midfielder Marc Vivien Foe was laid to rest in a sports complex he was constructing in Okoui, Yaounde on Monday.

More than 3,000 mourners paid tribute to the 28-year-old, who collapsed and died during the Confederations Cup semi-final against Colombia in France on 26 June.

Prime minister Peter Musonge led government and international personalities in the short burial ceremony that preceded a three-hour long church service in the Yaounde Notre Dame des Victoires cathedral.

There were military honours, short prayer and traditional rites before the fallen hero was decorated posthumously as commander of the national order of valour by Musonge.

He was then buried in the middle of the four hectare sports complex.

President Paul Biya attended the church service but did not go to the burial ground.

The service was led by Bishop Jerome Owono Minboe, who talked about hypocrisy and the need for people to live pure lives.

Six eulogies were read by members of Foe's family, the Cameroon FA, skipper of the national side Rigobert Song and Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

The speakers praised the departed star for his talent and service to humanity.

Joseph Mbende and Joseph Nkono, who spoke on behalf of the bereaved family, appealed for the completion of Foe's sports complex, with an estimated cost standing at around 3.5m.

A day before the burial the remains were exposed in the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium, home to the Indomitable Lions, with over 30,000 people turning out in tribute to Foe.

BBC's Francis Ngwa Niba on Focus on Africa
"A Lion never dies, he only sleeps"

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