LILLE, France: Former Qatar national team coach Bruno Metsu (pictured) has died from cancer at the age of 59, friends confirmed yesterday.
The Frenchman, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2012 and famously led Senegal to the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, stood down as coach of Dubai first division side Al Wasl in October due to health reasons — his final coaching job.
After a successful spell with Senegal, Metsu managed a number of clubs in the Middle East, including being the coach of Qatar from 2008 to 2011 where he led the 2011 Asian Cup hosts to the quarter-finals before losing to eventual winners Japan 3-2.
The Qatar Football Association (QFA) sent their ‘sincere condolences’ to Metsu’s family, said a post on their official Twitter account yesterday.
Metsu led Al Gharafa to the Qatar Stars League (QSL) title in 2005 and the Sheikh Jassim Cup in 2005/2006 season, before returning for a second stint in 2011-2012. Speaking to Al Kass channel yesterday, QFA’s new Assistant Director of the national team, Adel Khami, spoke of his admiration for Metsu.
He said: “He was a person who we cannot forget, especially his humanitarian aspect. I worked with this man at Al Gharafa and he was a lovely person. The people, especially the players and administration staff, loved him because he was cooperative”.
Khami, who had visited Metsu in France, added: “He was a humble and respectable man and was shaking hands and discussing different issues with people.”
It is believed the disease had spread to his lungs and liver. He died at a clinic in his home town of Coudekerque-Village in northern France. “He died overnight at 3.30am,” said Herve Beddeleem, the executive director of BCM Gravelines-Dunkirk basketball club, confirming a report in La Voix du Nord newspaper.
The Peninsula/ AGENCIES