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Football | Cameroon

Theophile Abega © Backpagepix

Cameroon hero Abega has died



Former Cameroon captain Theophile Abega, who captained the Indomitable Lions to their first major title almost three decades ago, died aged 58 on Thursday, the Cameroon Football Federation said.

A statement on their website did not give the cause of death but Cameroonian news reports said Abega had suffered cardiac arrest.

Abega captained Cameroon to their first African Nations Cup title in 1984, when he scored in a 3-1 win in the final over Nigeria in Abidjan.

He was named African Footballer of the Year the same year, a runaway winner in the poll.

Abega played in all three of Cameroon's matches at the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain - the first of the country's six appearances at the finals.

He spent most of his career at Canon Yaounde and contributed to two triumphs in the African Champions Cup in 1978 and 1980 and the African Cup Winners' Cup in 1979 when the Cameroon clubwere regarded as the best on the continent. He was later the club's president.

Abega later played at Toulouse in France and Vevey Sport in Switzerland, before retiring at the age of 33. He served as mayor of a district in Yaounde for four years.

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