Former Olympique de Marseille President Pape Diouf has died after contracting coronavirus, according to the French Ligue 1 club.
Diouf had been receiving treatment in his home country, Senegal, before passing away, the Senegalese President Macky Sall confirmed.
“I pay tribute to the medical staff at Fann Hospital (in Dakar, Senegal) who spared no effort to save him,” Sall said on Twitter.
In a statement made on Twitter, Marseille said the 68-year-old Diouf had passed away on Tuesday after a battle with Covid-19.
“It is with great sadness that Olympique de Marseille learned of the death of Pape Diouf,” the team said in a statement.
“Pape will remain in the hearts of the Marseillais forever, as one of the great architects in the club’s history.
“We send our sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones.”READ: Can the Tour de France go ahead without the ‘soul of the sport?’
Diouf was Marseille’s president from 2005 to 2009.
He was the first black president of a major European club.
Before that he was a journalist and player agent, representing the likes of Marcel Desailly, Samir Nasri and Didier Drogba.
“Journalist, agent, president of Olympique de Marseille from 2005 to 2009, Pape Diouf dedicated his whole life in service of football,” said a Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) statement.
“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.
“During Diouf’s tenure, Marseille twice finished Ligue 1 runners-up and were finalists in two French Cups.