Rigobert Song to be airlifted to European hospital after stroke

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Former Cameroon captain Rigobert Song is to be airlifted to Europe for medical reasons as he remains in a coma after suffering a stroke, according to reports.

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Song, 40, collapsed on Sunday at his home in Yaounde and was immediately transported to hospital in the Cameroon capital.

According to L’Equipe, the former Liverpool and West Ham defender is expected to be airlifted to Geneva on Tuesday.

However, reports in Song’s native country claim the former centre-back, who won 137 caps for the Indomitable Lions, will be taken to the renowned Salpetriere hospital in Paris.

A number of dignitaries have been to visit Song, who is coach of Cameroon’s A side, in hospital while prominent figures of African and world football have expressed their concern for one of the sport’s most colourful and well-known figures.

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“It’s terrible what has happened. We can only pray to God that he comes through it,” Cameroon legend Roger Milla, the surprise star of the 1990 FIFA World Cup, is reported as saying by L’Equipe.

The French sports daily quotes ex-Arsenal and Villarreal midfielder Robert Pires, who played with Song at Metz, as saying: “Rigo will get through it! We lived in apartments on the same floor and it was as if there were no doors between us.”

Former Senegal international El Hadji Diouf told L’Equipe: “We were at the same clubs, Lens, Liverpool. When he left Liverpool, his son stayed at my house for almost two years. I took him to training, he’s almost like my son. Rigo has a huge heart, and is incredibly nice and forthcoming.”

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