Pape Diouf, who led Marseille to Ligue 1 title, dies from coronavirus

This file photo taken on March 3, 2006 in Marseille shows former president of Marseille football club "l'Olympique de Marseille" Pape Diouf. Pape Diouf, 68-year-old died after contracting the COVID-19 disease, his familly announced on March 31, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 01 April 2020

Pape Diouf, who led Marseille to Ligue 1 title, dies from coronavirus

  • Diouf had been due to leave for Nice earlier on Tuesday to be treated in France
  • Diouf was also a journalist and football agent before taking over at the Stade Velodrome

MASRSEILLE: Former Marseille president Pape Diouf has died aged 68 after contracting the new coronavirus, a family source told AFP on Tuesday.

Diouf, who was born in Chad but had French and Senegalese citizenship, led the club between 2005-2009 and helped build the side who lifted the Ligue 1 title in 2010.
He was hospitalized in Senegal after contracting the virus there and became the country’s first COVID-19 fatality.

Diouf had been due to leave for Nice earlier on Tuesday to be treated in France, but a sharp deterioration in his health — which saw him placed on a respirator — prevented him from boarding the plane.

Diouf was also a journalist and football agent before taking over at the Stade Velodrome.

Moving to Marseille aged 18, he was set on a career in the military, but soon switched paths.

After studying at the prestigious Sciences Po in Paris, he worked at the La Marseillaise newspaper before becoming a football agent, most notably for Didier Drogba, who enthralled the Velodrome in 2003-04.

He later became president at Marseille, “a difficult post, where there were very few men from diverse backgrounds,” said Jacques-Henri Eyraud, the club’s current president.

“But he fought tooth and nail, and won the hearts of thousands of supporters.”

Diouf himself was acutely aware of the lack of diversity at the management level, telling an interviewer in 2008 that the fact he was the only black president of a top-tier European club was “a painful observation.”

“Pape will remain in the hearts of the Marseillais forever, as one of the great architects in the club’s history,” Marseilles said in a statement.

Senegal President Macky Sall also paid tribute to “a great figure of sport” on Twitter.

“To his family, I offer, on behalf of the nation, my deepest condolences.”
 


World rallies against Floyd’s death

Demonstrators occupy outside the building housing the DC Mayor's Office, during a protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, U.S. June 6, 2020. (REUTERS)
Updated 17 min 41 sec ago

World rallies against Floyd’s death

  • Yet tens of thousands of Australians defied Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s call to “find a better way”

LONDON: Taking a knee, banging drums and ignoring social distancing measures, outraged protesters from Sydney to London on Saturday kicked off a weekend of global rallies against racism and police brutality.
The death at police hands of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in the US state of Minnesota, has brought tens of thousands out onto the streets during a pandemic that is ebbing in Asia and Europe but still spreading in other parts of the world.
“It is time to burn down institutional racism,” one speaker shouted through a megaphone at a hooting crowd of thousands outside the parliament building in London.
“Silence is violence,” the throng shouted back in the rain.
Officials around the world have been trying to balance understanding at people’s pent-up anger with warnings about the dangers of a disease that has officially claimed nearly 400,000 lives globally.
Yet tens of thousands of Australians defied Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s call to “find a better way.”