Former Cameroon international Rigobert Song will be flown to France for treatment after coming out of a coma.
Song suffered a stroke on Sunday, according to reports. The 40-year-old collapsed at his home in Yaounde and was immediately transported to hospital in the Cameroon capital.
But on Tuesday, the BBC quoted Dr Louis Joss Bitang A Mafok, director of the emergency centre at the Yaounde Central Hospital, as saying Song would be flown to France later in the day.
“He has come out of his coma and the oxygen has been disconnected,” he said. “His high blood pressure has returned to normal and the cerebral haemorrhage has been controlled.”
Reports in Cameroon on Monday had said the former centre-back, who won 137 caps for the Indomitable Lions, would be taken to the Salpetriere hospital in Paris.
Prominent figures in African and world football expressed their concern for one of the sport’s most charismatic figures.
“It’s terrible what has happened. We can only pray to God that he comes through it,” Cameroon legend Roger Milla, the star of the 1990 World Cup, was reported as saying by L’Equipe.
The French sports daily quoted 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.