Former Marseille’s president, Pape Diouf, has died after contracting the new coronavirus, football club and a family source announced on Tuesday.
He was 68.
Confirming his death, Marseille, in a statement on Olympic Marseille’s twitter account read:
“Olympique de Marseille learned with great sadness of the death of Pape Diouf.
“Pape will 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.”
Pape Diouf, a former Marseille president led the French soccer club from 2005-09.
Diouf was the first black president of a first-level European club when he took the leadership at Marseille in 2005.
The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) said: “Journalist, agent, president of Olympique de Marseille, Pape Diouf dedicated his whole life in service of football.
“A member of the LFP administrative council from September 2007 to June 2009, Pape Diouf will be remembered as a charismatic and passionate director.”
BBC Sports reports that former France and Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse played for Marseille when Diouf was in charge.
“Today French football has lost a great man,” he posted on social media. “My sadness is great today. Rest in peace.”
Manchester City‘s French defender Benjamin Mendy described his “sadness” at hearing the news.
“A great president but above all a huge man, who always worthily represented Marseille and its values. A great loss for French football and the African continent. Rest in peace,” he tweeted.
“A member of the LFP administrative council from September 2007 to June 2009, Pape Diouf will be remembered as a charismatic and passionate director.
“In this moment of immense sadness for French football, the LFP offers its condolences to his family and those close to him, and to Olympique de Marseille.”