Former President of French Ligue 1 club Marseille Pape Diouf who contracted the dreaded coronavirus a few days ago is dead. He is the second football club president that has been killed by the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
Recall that in March, former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz died after contracting the deadly virus at 76-year-old. In the case of Pape Diouf, he died on 31 March 2020 after succumbing to the global pandemic in his home country Senegal. he died at age 68.
“It is with great sadness that Olympique de Marseille learned of the death of Pape Diouf. Pape will remain in the hearts of the Marseillais forever, as one of the great architects in the club’s history,” Marseille tweeted on Tuesday to announce the demise of its former club president.
In the same light, 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.”
The Senegalese administrator and journalist was president of Marseille between 2005 and 2009 when the club finished second in Ligue 1 twice and reached two French Cup finals. They went on to win a first French league title in 18 years in 2010.
The journey of Pape Diouf in Marseille
Diouf moved to Marseille at the age of eighteen where he became a journalist with a newspaper in the French city. His work as a journalist was centred around local football clubs in Marseille, especially Olympique de Marseille.
He changed his career direction from being a journalist to being a sports agent. During this period, he worked with former French international defender Basile Boli and Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell who were playing for Marseille.
Diouf became closely linked with Marseille, and the cordial relationship he enjoyed with the club culminated in him becoming the club president in 2005.
After four years of serving in that capacity, Robert Louis-Dreyfus announced that Pape Diouf would retire from the club on 17 June 2009. He was replaced by Jean-Claude Dassier.