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Last Updated: Monday, 17 January, 2005, 11:55 GMT
Tragedy hits youth championship
By Karim Okanla
BBC Sport, Cotonou

Youssoufou 'Campos' Samiou
Benin's Youssoufou 'Campos' Samiou died after being attacked

The African Youth Championship in Benin has been rocked by the death of a player just two days after the start of the tournament.

Benin's under-20 goalkeeper Youssoufou 'Campos' Samiou died in a private clinic in the capital Cotonou on Monday morning.

Samiou's death comes after he was attacked by unknown assailants near his hotel on Sunday night.

He was apparently admitted to the clinic with neck, skull and arm injuries from the attack.

The goalkeeper was part of the Benin team that lost 3-0 to Nigeria in their opening game at the African Youth Championship on Saturday.

It was with utter horror and sadness that I learned of the death. Samiou's death is a tragedy which horrifies the entire football world
Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Thousands of home fans left the stadium before the end of the game, furious at the poor display of the team despite so much financial investment in the side's preparations.

It is still unclear as to whether the attack was in any way linked to Saturday's loss.

The Benin Football Association is yet to decide on what action to take next.

Caf president Issa Hayatou said: "We are terribly shocked and saddened by the tragedy.

"Caf is against violence on and off the pitch and will continue to promote the spirit of fair play."

African football's governing body will be holding a seminar, which was arranged before the death of Samiou, on 20 January in Cotonou on "violence around football".

Caf's organising committee for the African Youth Championship is to meet to discuss the incident, but is adamant that the tournament will continue.




SEE ALSO
Nigeria win opener
15 Jan 05 |  African
African Youth Championship
16 Jul 04 |  African



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