Popular Senegalese footballer Papa Bouba Diop have been confirmed dead.
Senegal’s legend and former Portsmouth and Fulham midfielder was aged 42.
He died after falling ill for a long time.
Diop secured his place in his country’s history by scoring the winner against reigning champions France in their first-ever World Cup game in 2002. Senegal went on to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament before they were knocked out by Turkey.
FIFA confirmed the death of the midfielder, 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.”
Senegal president Macky Sall paid tribute on Twitter, saying: “The death of Pape Bouba Diop is a great loss for Senegal.
“I pay tribute to a good footballer, respected by all for his courtesy and his talent, proudly reminding us of the Lions saga in 2002. I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family and to the football world.”
Le décès de Pape Bouba Diop est une grande perte pour le Sénégal. Je rends hommage à un bon footballeur, respecté de tous pour sa courtoisie et son talent, nous rappelant fièrement l'épopée des Lions en 2002. Je présente mes condoléances émues à sa famille et au monde du football
— Macky Sall (@Macky_Sall) November 29, 2020