The former midfielder played for Fulham and Portsmouth in the Premier League – winning the FA Cup win Pompey in 2008.
FIFA confirmed the news on Sunday evening after several reports had emerged, although further details of his passing are not yet clear.
The Senegal side won the hearts of many for their performance in the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea, with Diop also scoring twice in a 3-3 group stage draw against Uruguay before they were eliminated by Turkey in the last eight.
He was also a member of Pompey’s triumphant 2008 FA Cup side, being introduced by manager Harry Redknapp as a late substitute in the 1-0 Final victory over Cardiff City.
Tributes are already pouring in for Diop, including former club Fulham who tweeted: ‘We are devastated to hear news reports this evening that Papa Bouba Diop has passed away, aged 42. Rest well, Wardrobe’.
We are devastated to hear news reports this evening that Papa Bouba Diop has passed away, aged 42.
Rest well, Wardrobe 🖤 pic.twitter.com/rvU53Vqkmn
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) November 29, 2020
Fellow former club Portsmouth also paid their respects: ‘We’re devastated to hear reports that FA Cup winner Papa Bouba Diop has passed away after a long illness, aged just 42 Rest in peace, The Wardrobe.’
In a much-travelled career amassing 325 games and 63 internationals, Diop also played for clubs in Switzerland, France, and Greece.
He returned to play in England for West Ham United and then Birmingham City before his retirement in 2013.
💙 We’re devastated to hear reports that FA Cup winner Papa Bouba Diop has passed away after a long illness, aged just 42
— Portsmouth FC (@Pompey) November 29, 2020
Former Portsmouth midfielder Chris Kamara said that he was devastated to read the news.
‘Didn’t know he’d been ill… he’s been taken too young,’ Kamara tweeted. ‘We used to have a good chuckle together about me calling him “The Man Mountain Himself” RIP Papa.’