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Senegal’s World Cup hero Papa Bouba Diop dies aged 42

Papa Bouba Diop, the former Senegal midfielder who scored the first goal of the 2002 World Cup against France, has died at the age of 42 after a long illness

Senegal’s World Cup hero Papa Bouba Diop dies aged 42 www.theafricanstand.com
The former midfielder was one of the star names of Senegal’s memorable run to the quarter-finals

Former Senegal international Papa Bouba Diop has passed away after a long illness at the age of 42.

Diop was one of the heroes of Senegal’s memorable run to the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals, scoring the only goal in a shock 1-0 victory over then-holders France in their opening game.

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.

Senegal’s World Cup hero Papa Bouba Diop dies aged 42 www.theafricanstand.com
He was part of the Portsmouth side that won the 2008 FA Cup after coming on as a sub in final

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’.


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.


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.’

Ericson Mangoli

Written by Ericson Mangoli

Ericson Mangoli is the founder of African Stand, based in Nairobi Kenya, Ericson leads a splendid group of correspondents, independent writers, investigators, analysts, and supporters from around the globe to run African Stand as a supervisor and the chief editor.

Ericson Mangoli's editorial experience ranges more than 5 years and covers all the sports news, and at times including business and venture, data innovation, legislative issues, strategy, basic freedoms, science detailing, and significantly more.

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