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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 17:17 GMT 18:17 UK
Asec legend Mamadou Zare dies
James Copnall
BBC Sport, Abidjan

Asec
Mamadou Zare was named coach of Asec in 1995

The former Ivorian international and top coach Mamadou Zare has died, aged 45.

Zare passed away after what was described as a 'long illness'.

As a player Zare represented Asec Mimosas and the Ivory Coast national team in the 1980s, before becoming a successful manager.

To general surprise, he was named Asec coach in 1995.

He lead the yellow and blacks to a domestic league and cup double, and to the final of the African Champions Cup that year.

But despite a battling away draw to Orlando Pirates, Asec lost the home leg of the final and with it the Champions Cup.

Zare was criticized for his lack of experience, and did not last long at the club.

He subsequently coached a number of Ivorian top flight sides, including Stade d'Abidjan, Sabe Sport de Bouna, Sewe de San Pedro, and Issia Wazi.

Zare was of Burkinabe origin, and he also served as the assistant coach of the Burkina Faso national team, at the 1998 Nations Cup alongside his mentor Phillipe Troussier.

Zare was known for his strong character, and wasn't above shouting at his players when he thought they weren't giving them all.

Recently he set up a football academy, and was determined to develop a talented generation of young footballers.

Tributes from former colleagues have poured in following his death.

The national technical director Yeo Martial said: "Zare always showed how much he loved football.

"At Asec he was fiery, engaged and committed, with principles that he respected.

"It is a shame he left us so early."

The former national team striker Abdoulaye Traore, who played with him, spoke of his sadness: "It's a great loss, and I am very upset because I was close to him."



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