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14 Jul 2001: Papa Bouba Diop of Senegal in action during the FIFA 2002 World Cup Qualifier against Morocco played at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar, Senegal.

Tributes Pour in for Former Senegalese Footballer Papa Bouba Diop

Senegalese football player, Papa Bouba Diop, passed away following a long illness this past Sunday. He was just 42.

Former Senegalese midfielder Papa Bouba Diop passed away this past Sunday following a long illness, according to Al Jazeera. Details of his illness have not been disclosed to the public. At the age of just 42, the football world is now mourning the loss of a spectacular sportsman who not only represented Senegal on numerous occasions but also brought home numerous victories for his home country. Tributes from public figures, football fans and various international football bodies have been pouring in on social media since news of Diop's passing emerged.


READ: African Footballers Pay Tribute to Burkina Faso Goalkeeper Soulama Abdoulaye

Nicknamed "The Wardrobe" for his stature, Diop played for a number of European teams during his career namely West Ham United, Portsmouth, Birmingham City and Fulham. He is perhaps best known for his historic goal during the 2002 World Cup where Senegal, for whom it was their first-ever World Cup game, beat France to advance to the quarter-finals. If ever there was a game where fans were (secretly) rooting for the underdog that was the Senegalese team, it was certainly that one. Overall, Diop went on to represent Senegal over 60 times and did so in a manner that saw him being "respected by all for his courtesy and his talent," according to President of Senegal, Macky Sall.

FIFA confirmed the passing of the athlete in a tweet saying, "FIFA is saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal legend Papa Bouba Diop. Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero."

Rest in Power indeed to Diop, a true World Cup Hero.

Below are some of the tributes which have been shared on social media:








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(Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP) (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Senegal Advance to the Round of 16 in the World Cup

They become the first African team to do so since Nigeria and Algeria in 2014.

Senegal have secured a place in the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup after their crucial game against Ecuador on Tuesday. This has pushed the Senegalese team to the knockout round of the World Cup for the first time since they emerged at the quarter-finals back in 2002.

The crucial game, which had very high stakes, saw both teams contend for the win-or-go-home game. In the first half of the game, Senegal soared over its Ecuadorian opponents, who made several attempts to match their energy and intensity. The team played with seamless energy and expertise, and in the 44th minute, Ismaïla Sarr scored a ferocious penalty goal that further ignited the competition.

Somewhere around the 67th minute, Ecuador’s Moisés Caicedo equalized for his team. But then Kalidou Koulibaly, Senegal’s team captain, took home the winning goal, with shot that placed his country in the knockout round.


This is the first time in 20 years the nation has qualified for the round of 16 since 2002, when Papa Bouba Diop was among the legends representing Senegal at the World Cup. Diop passed away in 2020 and exactly two years to the day, and Koulibaly, who scored the winning goal, wore an armband with the number number 19, on it, which was Diop’s shirt number. Senegalese fans in the stands also wore shirts with the number on it as a tribute to the deceased Senegalese icon.

In spite of Sadio Mane’s absence from the game, the Lions of Teranga proved to be proficient enough to seamlessly handle the game and bring home the win. Ismaila Sarr and Koulibaly made their country proud by scoring the goals that solidified their place as the winners.

This means that Aliou Cisse’s team will most likely face England in the next big game and potentially bring them one step closer to bringing the big win home.

The Netherlands team beat host team Qatar 2-0 in Tuesday’s other Group A game, which ultimately eliminated the host team, who struggled throughout their stint in the football competition and had a hard time winning any points over the course of the three games that they participated in.

In a conversation with Aljazeera, Senegalese coach Aliou Cisse promised that his experienced side “would not overthink” the occasion.

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Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An African Renaissance In Matchday 2 of the World Cup

Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, and Cameroon delivered great performances in the second round of games at the Qatar World Cup.

The African teams represented at the World Cup this year have started thriving.

Morocco was the leading team with four points scored from the two games that they played. During Sunday’s game, they earned an upset 0-2 win when they played against Belgium, a team that many had a favorites to go far this year.

During the second minute of first half stoppage time, Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech fired a free kick into the net. After further analysis, the goal was disallowed, but the Moroccan team bounced back in the 73rd minute when Abdelhamid Sabiri scored a seamless free kick. Zakaria Aboukhlal later scored the second role, which would secure the teams win and mark its second win since 1998.

In their opening game, Walid Regragui’s Morocco team secured a 0-0 draw with Croatia in their opening game before surpassing Belgium in their second match, to put them on the brink of a potential first last-16 spot since 1986, according to The Sporting News.

In spite of the loss of Sadio Mane due to an injury, the Senegal team performed well, with Aliou Cissé's squad winning 1-3 over host team Qatar on Friday. The goals came from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou, and Bamba Dieng, who all played a part in securing the big win.

In heated game that they played earlier today, Cameroon tied Serbia 3-3. At the 29th minute , Cameroon’s Jean-Charles Castelletto scored the first goal, and after Serbia countered with goals of their own, Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar and Maxim Choupo-Moting would add two successive goals, that would tie the game.

Ghana also scored an impressive 3-2 win against South Korea. During the first half of the game, Mohammed Salisu scored a goal in the 24th minute and Mohammed Kudus scored in 34th minute. The third goal was secured by Kudus again, who made it in the 68th minute.

This year, four out of the five African countries represented at the World Cup have African coaches, a reality that has not been the case in previous years.

According to a report from The New York Times, four out of the five African coaches this year started their careers in European football. Senegalese-born Aliou Cissé and Cameroon’s Rigobert Song are two coaches who crafted out a career for themselves in the renowned English Premier League. Morocco’s Walid Regragui and Ghana’s Otto Addo also had successful international careers before they began their coaching career. Out of all the African coaches, Jalel Kadri is a the only coach who played for his home country of Tunisia.

Ever since the World Cup began in 1930, 13 African nations have participated in the World Cup, but only Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) have reached the quarterfinal, with none of the teams ever making it to the semi-final round, so it will be interesting to see what African teams cross that thresh hold this year.


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(Photo by Youssef Loulidi/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Morocco Advance to the Round Of 16 in the World Cup

Morocco join Senegal as the second African country make the knockout stages at Qatar 2022.

Morocco have officially joined the string of African countries who have been excelling at the FIFA World Cup.

By beating Canada, 2-1, the North African country finish at the top of their Group F, besting strong footballing countries like Belgium and Croatia, and advancing to the last 16 teams in the World Cup.

During the game against Canada, the Moroccan side strategically capitalized on its opponents' mistakes, especially those from Canadian defender Steven Vitória and goalkeeper Milan Borjan. At the height of the game, Vitória attempted to pass the ball back to Borjan at the same time that Youssef En-Nesyri was giving chase. Borjan left his net to play the ball but En-Nesyri’s seamlessness with the ball overpowered him and gave Hakim Ziyech the leeway to easily score a goal from a distance.

By half-time against Canada, Morocco was already in the lead, with strong indications pointing to the possibility that they would push through the knockout round. The win came with an eruption of celebration from fans who witnessed the team win at Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar.

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(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Roc Nation)

Burna Boy Tops 2022 African Streams on Both Spotify & Apple Music

The Nigerian star dominated African streaming lists across both platforms.

On Wednesday, November 30th, Spotify announced its 2022 Wrapped campaign and personalized user experience. In line with that, the music streaming powerhouse also revealed the top songs, albums, and podcasts that dominated the playlists of its 456M listeners around the world.

With the rise of Afrobeats and Amapiano this year, also came the domination of some of Africa’s leading artists and based on the numbers that Spotify put out, Burna Boy was leading the pack. The African Giant dominated the list as The Top African Artist Streamed Globally, Top African Artist on Spotify, and Top Songs Streamed Across Africa ("Last Last").

Spotify's Top Breakout Artist in Africa this year was Asake and the Top African Songs Streamed Globally was the ever-present "Love Nwatiti" by Ckay.

Apple Music also released a list of the top songs and albums for 2022, and again, Burna Boy topped the list. The release of his sixth studio album Love, Damini generated massive critical acclaim and the leading single “Last Last” quickly a global anthem.

According to Apple’s analytics, the album was the most streamed on Apple Music Nigeria, Apple Music Ghana and Apple Music Kenya in 2022. It is also the third most streamed album on Apple Music South Africa in 2022.

According to Phiona Okumu, Head of Music, Spotify Africa, the Spotify Wrapped campaign is also an opportunity for African artists to continue to thrive both home and abroad.

“As always, we also have our Wrapped creator experience for podcasters and artists. With access to their own individualized Wrapped microsite experience, creators can dive into all the ways in which their fans listened this year. We are so excited to continue to support the growth of these artists globally and at home,” said Okumu.

The “Ye” singer has continued to push boundaries and like many of his successful peers in the African music scene, have shown the world that African music, art and talent can push global boundaries and make the world listen.

Following numerous sold out tours, including an eye-popping headliner show at New York’s Madison Square Garden, it is not difficult to see why the afrobeats heavyweight continues to thrive and put Africa as a whole on the map.

Graphic provided by Spotify.


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