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05.01.2003 Sports News

Police investigate Kuffour tragedy

Police investigate Kuffour tragedy

The Police have opened an investigation into the death of international defender Samuel Osei Kuffour's daughter. The 15-month-old baby, named Godiva, drowned in a swimming pool at the Bayern Munich player's house in Accra on Friday. Police say they will carry out an autopsy as part of their inquiries. Kuffour's cousin, Nana Bonsu, was at the house when the tragedy happened. He said the family was packing in readiness for a trip to Kuffour's home city of Kumasi when the child walked out unnoticed. He believes the little girl was attracted by balloons floating on the water, and fell in as she tried to grab them. A distraught Kuffour arrived back in Ghana just hours after having returned to Bayern to restart training following the winter break. The German club chartered a plane to get him home as quickly as possible. The player has been drawing on his deep religious belief to help him deal with the tragedy. He said: "God gives and he takes. I am grateful for whatever has happened. The Lord knows best". He described Godiva as his "little gorgeous", and said her memory would forever remain in his heart . "It's a calamity - my baby was such a lovely girl who always gave me joy and happiness", he said. "But I pray by the grace of God I should be able to overcome it and face the future with a renewed vigour and strength." Kuffour said he would draw strength from the experience of Senegal captain Aliou Cisse at Birmingham City, who lost 14 relatives in the Joola ferry disaster last year.
Kuffour's daughter dead, defender leaves Bayern Defender Sammy Kuffour was granted a leave of absence from Bayern Munich Saturday following the death of his 15-month-old daughter Godiva in his homeland of Ghana. "The exact circumstances aren't known, but the child apparently drowned in a swimming pool," said Munich manager Uli Hoeness. "Sammy is pretty shocked." Kuffour took a flight out of Munich Friday when he was notified of the child's death. Just hours before, he flew into the German city to join his club for training after the holidays. Hoeness said Kuffour's leave of absence is for an indefinite time until the defender is able to train again. The club organized a private plane to fly him back to Ghana's capital, Accra. The 26-year-old Kuffour has been a key player in Bayern Munich's defense for years and was on the 2001 Champions Cup winning squad and the team that claimed three straight Bundesliga titles starting in 1999. "That's a big blow for Sammy. We will do everything we can to support him," said Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. Bayern's players were set to have their first training session Saturday as the team prepares for the start of the Bundesliga's second half on Jan. 25 following a one-month winter break. "Everything else is unimportant right now, but this is a terrible start to our year," Hoeness said. Read More