African Football

Papa Bouba Diop: Senegal’s 2002 WC hero passes on

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Former Senegal international midfielder Papa Bouba Diop has passed on at the age of 42 after a long illness according to multiple sources.

Diop who was the hero for debutants Senegal at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, scoring the only goal as Teranga Lions shocked reigning champions France to a 1-0 defeat, played for Fulham, Birmingham City, West Ham United, and Portsmouth in the Premier League. 

Senegal, surprisingly made it to the quarter-finals of the tournament, with Diop going on to score twice in the West Africans’ 3-3 group-stage draw with Uruguay before being eliminated by Turkey.

  • Papa Bouba Diop started his footballing career with Switzerland’s Grasshoppers, and then went on to feature for Lens, where he was a Ligue 1 runner-up in 2002.

Diop who started playing football as a forward with Switzerland was later converted into a midfielder. He was nicknamed Wardrobe.

Fulham tweeted on Sunday evening: “We are devastated to hear news reports this evening that Papa Bouba Diop has passed away, aged 42. Rest well, Wardrobe.”

Diop 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.

After leaving Portsmouth, he moved on to Greece where he won the Greek Cup with AEK Athens.


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