The pandemic raving coronavirus has hit the football world following the death of former President of Marseille Pape Diouf according to reports.
The ESPN reports that the 68-year-old Diouf, was admitted to hospital in his native Senegal over the weekend and required breathing assistance.
Diouf who led Marseille from 2005 to 2009 was due to be flown to France this week but his deteriorating condition made that impossible the source disclosed.
Marseille confirmed Diouf’s passing with a statement posted on Twitter.
“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.”
Tributes have poured in for the former journalist and agent, with the likes of current OM stars Florian Thauvin and Maxime Lopez expressing their sympathies at the news, and former captain Habib Beye spoke of their “father-son” relationship.
Former counterpart Lyon’s Jean-Michel Aulas also expressed sadness at losing a man he respected, while rivals Paris Saint-Germain were quick to express their condolences.
PSG and France star Kylian Mbappe set aside the Classique rivalry to express his regret, as did many other clubs and players — past and present.
Although Marseille did not win a domestic title under Diouf, he saw Les Phoceens twice finish second in Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France, but they did win the 2005 Intertoto Cup.
Diouf represented some major names in the football world as an agent, including Joseph-Antoine Bell, Marcel Desailly, Basile Boli, William Gallas, Samir Nasri and Didier Drogba.