Former Olympique Marseille president Pape Diouf has died at age 68 after contracting Covid-19.
Diouf had been hospitalized in his native Senegal and was placed under respiratory assistance on Saturday after his illness became serious.
His relatives had hoped to transport him to France to receive further medical attention. However, Pape Diouf passed away before he was able to leave Dakar.
Marseille confirmed Diouf’s death by posting a statement on their official Twitter handle.
Olympique de Marseille learned with great sadness of the death of Pape Diouf,” the statement read.
“Pape will, therefore, remain forever in the hearts of Marseillais as one of the great craftsmen of the history of the club.”
“Our condolences to his family and loved ones.”
Who is Pape Diouf?
He was a Senegalese journalist. Above all, best known for being the president of the French football club Olympique de Marseille between 2005 and 2009.
Diouf was born in Abéché, Chad, to Senegalese parents on December 18th 1951.
During his time in charge, Marseille were a consistent presence near the top of the Ligue 1 table, though they never clinched a league title. Their highest finish during Diouf’s presidency was second and their lowest was fifth.
Prior to his time in charge of the Ligue 1 side Diouf worked as a journalist, covering the exploits of Marseille’s football team among other sports.
He represented some major names in the football world as an agent. In addition, including Joseph-Antoine Bell, Marcel Desailly, Basile Boli, William Gallas, Samir Nasri, and Didier Drogba.
His relationship with Marseille grew as players Pape Diouf represented, like Desailly, Gallas, Nasri and Drogba all played for the Ligue 1 side.
Diouf’s death is the latest blow to a football world that has been turned upside down as the coronavirus crisis spreads across the globe.
The pandemic has forced the suspension of all sports activities across the world as one way of fighting it.