Friday, December 28, 2007

Namibia Coach Bamfuchile Dies

Shocking news out of Zambia today as Namibia football coach Ben Bamfuchile has passed away. He was 47. The Zambian succumbed to illness on Thursday night in the nothern city of Kitwe.

Bamfuchile became an instant hero in September after Namibia snatched a 3-2 victory in Ethiopia to qualify for the African Cup of Nations finals.

The Brave Warriors' victory left more fancied group opponents like the Congo on the outskirts of the finals.

It was only the second time the country had reached the finals of the African football showpiece.

Bamfuchile had previously coached his own country.

Zambian FA president Teddy Mulonga paid tribute to him.

"The association has lost a dedicated professional and a true patriot," Mulonga said.

"He was true to his faith and delivered the results. Ben was an achiever of the highest order. One of the memorable moments was in 2000, when he qualified Zambia to the Nations Cup finals without a loss and with the highest points in all qualifying groups."

After losing his job as Zambia coach in 2000, Bamfuchile bounced back as assistant coach to Kalusha Bwalya in 2003.

He quit that job this year, opting to join Nambia as head trainer.

During his career as a footballer, he played for fallen Zambian giants Nkana, who dominated domestic football in the '80s.

Later, Bamfuchile coached Nkana's arch-rivals Power Dynamos, with whom he won over six cups.

He also had coaching stints in South Africa.

Bamfuchile is survived by his wife and six children.

Sad news. Our prayers go out to him and his family.

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