Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images

Football veteran Pape Diouf passes away from coronavirus.

The First Black President of a First-Tier European Football Club Passes Away

Pape Diouf, the former President of French football club Marseille, has died after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Pape Diouf, the former President of French football club Marseille, has died according to reports by The Guardian.

Diouf, who is of Senegalese origin, had been hospitalised in Senegal after having tested positive for the coronavirus. He was 68.

Diouf started off his career in sports as a journalist and football agent who managed the likes of French footballer Samir Nasri and Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba, among several others.

After taking over as President of Marseille in 2005, Diouf saw the team reaching two French Cup finals in addition to finishing second in the French league. Diouf's appointment saw him become the first-ever Black president of a top-tier European football club. Marseille then went on to win its first French league title just a year after Diouf's tenure ended in 2009.

The French football club put up a post on social media yesterday, bidding the sports veteran farewell.

A statement released by the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) reads as follows:

"The [LFP] has learned this evening with great sadness of the death of Pape Diouf at the age of 68. Journalist, agent, president of Olympique de Marseille from 2005 to 2009, 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. 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."

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases on the African continent now stands at close to 6000 with at least 201 reported deaths. Among those to die from the coronavirus are Cameroonian jazz legend Manu Dibango, Burkina Faso's Vice-President of Parliament, Rose-Marie Compaore, as well as former President of Congo, Jacques Joaquim Yhombi-Opango.

Read our rolling coverage of the coronavirus presence in Africa here.

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