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'My guardian angel': Football world mourns passing of former Marseille president Pape Diouf from Covid-19

'My guardian angel': Football world mourns passing of former Marseille president Pape Diouf from Covid-19
The football world is mourning the passing of former Olympique Marseille president Pape Diouf, described by a former player as a "guardian angel", at the age of 68 after contracting Covid-19.

Diouf died in his native Senegal on Tuesday after falling ill with coronavirus, the same day the French club announced he had been suffering with the virus.

Diouf began his career as a journalist before becoming an agent, handling many players of Marseille's great UEFA Champions League-winning side of 1993, including Basile Boli.

He was also involved with World Cup winner Marcel Desailly as well as former Premier League players William Gallas, Samir Nasri and Didier Drogba. 

Boli paid tribute to his guardian angel on Twitter: "Pape has been my guardian angel throughout my career, a very fine friend. His unique voice will be forever missed."

Ligue I also offered their condolences online, along with Marseille, where he was president from 2005 to 2009, who hailed one of the "great craftsmen of the club".

"Olympique de Marseille learned with great sadness of the death of Pape Diouf. Pope 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," Marseille tweeted.

Ligue I said in a statement: “The Ligue de Football Professionnel 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.”

France represents one of the hardest-hit European countries during the pandemic, with over 3,500 recorded deaths from the disease.

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