Cameroon want to honour beloved Foe

Updated: 

Cameroon are holding the memory of Marc-Vivien Foe in their hearts at the Confederations Cup, says midfielder Arnaud Djoum.

The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations winners are back at the tournament for the first time since 2003, when they reached the final before losing 1-0 to hosts France.

But that competition is predominantly remembered for the tragic passing of former West Ham, Lyon and Manchester City star Foe, who collapsed and died during Cameroon's semi-final against Colombia in Lyon.

An autopsy later revealed the 28-year-old suffered from the rare heart condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

A box-to-box midfielder who is strong in the tackle, Djoum performs a similar role for the Indomitable Lions to the one Foe did in his pomp and the Hearts player also has the honour of wearing his late compatriot's old number 17 at the Confederations Cup.

"Our side, we also play for him because he was a really good person, a big player for our country and someone really important," Djoum told Omnisport ahead of Cameroon's final Group B game against Germany, where they must beat the world champions to have any chance of progressing.

"We try not to speak too much about it because it was a tragedy, but we know we are here also for him, for his family and for everybody.

"So we try to show good football and performances for him. Of course, I was only young [when Foe played] but I looked up to him. He was a big player."

Cameroon face Germany in Sochi, which was the source of pre-tournament controversy, embarrassment and offence when people were pictured wearing Cameroon shirts in blackface and carrying bananas during a parade in the city.

Fears of next year's World Cup being sullied by racism remain, but Cameroon's performances against Chile and Australia have been well received by locals in Moscow and St Petersburg over the past week.

"We heard a lot about things like that [racism], but as a professional footballer you try to not think about it," Djoum explained.

"Since we've been here we have never had any problems of this type from people. We are happy.

"I think the people around the tournament and the team are really good and really professional - nice hotel, nice stadium and good facilities, so we have no problem about that."