Armenian football has been paying its respects to Ian Porterfield after the death of the Scottish coach who led the national team in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying.
Under the 61-year-old's guidance, Armenia had achieved some notable successes during recent months – including 2-1 and 1-0 wins against Kazakhstan and Poland in June, and a 1-1 draw with Portugal in August. Because of the colon cancer that eventually claimed his life on Tuesday, Porterfield was absent for Armenia's 3-1 friendly defeat in Cyprus last Saturday. His players, wearing black armbands in tribute, will be in action again tonight in another friendly, against Malta.
'A good person'
Armenia striker Armen Shahgeldyan summed up the mood in the camp after the news came through. "I was shocked," he said. "Of course we knew he was sick but we all hoped he would make it. He was a very good coach but what is more important, he was a very good person. In all my years with Armenia, I cannot name another coach who had such ability and also great personal qualities. All of us players, and the whole of Armenian football, are on the losing side." Porterfield's assistants, Tom Jones and Vardan Minasyan, are taking charge of the team in Malta.
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