Franco Nieto, the 33-year-old captain of Argentine lower league team Tiro Federal, died in early December when he was attacked by a crowd while leaving the stadium after a match between his club and Chacarita Juniors had been abandoned due to eight players being sent off. Nigerian goalkeeper, Wilfred Agbonavbare died from cancer on January 27, aged 48. Frequently the reserve to Peter Rufai at Super Eagles level – including at the USA 94 World
Cup – Agbonavbare was goalkeeper of Rayo Vallecano in Spain between 1990 and 1996. At least 25 Zamalek fans lost their lives in a stampede on 8 February at a match between their club and ENPPI. Legendary Ghanaian footballer, coach and administrator Cecil Jones Attuquayefio (70) passed away on May 12. Attuquayefio was a member of the Black Stars team that won the 1965 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.
As a coach, he is best remembered for his successes with Hearts of Oak, whom he guided to victory in the CAF Champions Cup, CAF Confederation Cup and CAF Super Cup as well as several Ghana League titles. Attuquayefio also coached the national team, various other clubs in Ghana, as well as Stade Abidjan of Ivory Coast, the Benin national team and Ghana’s 1999 Under-17 World Cup bronze medalists He rose to the position of vicepresident of the Ghana FA.
Former Ghana national team coach Charles Gyamfi (85) passed away on 2 September. Gyamfi was a record-setter – in 1960 he joined German side Fortuna Dusseldorf making him the first African player to play in Germany. In 1982 he became the first coach to win the African Nations Cup three times (1963, 1965 and 1982) all with the Black Stars. Gyamfi also led the Ghana side to the 1964 and 1972 Olympic Games.