Football family mourns ex-Cameroon midfielder Modeste M’Bami
Former Cameroon midfielder, Modeste M’bami, has died aged 40, several sources including his former club have confirmed.
A member of Cameroon’s gold medal-winning squad at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in Australia, M’bami died of cardiac arrest in France on Saturday January 7, 2023, according to media reports.
Then 18-years-old, M’bami was the star of the quarterfinals of the Sydney 2000 tournament, coming from the bench to score a golden goal against Brazil that sent Cameroon into the semis. The Indomitable Lions, as the Cameroon national soccer team is known then beat Chile to proceed to the final.
Led by Samuel Eto’o Fils, the current president of the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT), the Indomitable Lions came back from two goals down to level at 2-2, before clinching the gold medal on penalties against Spain.
After the Olympics, the young M’bami moved to France where he played for Ligue 1 sides, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Marseille until 2009.
PSG said on its twitter page that it was “with deep sadness” that it learned of M’bami’s demise. “The club presents its sincere condolences to his family and loved ones”, the club twitted following Mbami’s death.
During his nine-year international career, M’bami had 37 caps for the Indomitable Lions. Besides the 2000 Olympics, he was also part of the Cameroon squad that reached the finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2003.
In November 2019, M’bami rejected an appointment by the Cameroon FA as the Team Manager of the Intermediate Lions of Cameroon ahead of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) that the country hosted which Morocco won.
The Olympics gold medalist said his refusal was in part because of poor relationship between the federation and former players appointed to similar positions.
The Cameroon FA had not communicated on the former midfielder’s death at the time of this report.