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South Africa’s Africa Cup of Nations winning coach, Clive Barker is dead



Clive Barker celebrates. (Photo by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS via Getty Images) (Photo by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS via Getty Images)

Clive Barker, the charismatic coach who ensured success for South Africa at the Africa Cup of Nations and got them into their first World Cup finals, died on Saturday, a family statement said.

The 78-year-old Barker was coach of the South African side that won the 1996 Cup of Nations on home soil in the country’s first participation in the tournament.

He also oversaw the side’s qualification for the World Cup in France two years later, although he was sacked six months before the finals kicked off.

Barker defied apartheid regulations in the 1970s to coach teams in South Africa’s black townships and had a 40-year career coaching numerous clubs in the top flight of South African football, winning the league three times.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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