Pape Diouf was 68 years old. He passed away of coronavirus in Dakar. The sadness is huge in Senegal, as in all of Africa.

But he is mourned with the same emotion in France, particularly in Marseille where he had landed alone at the age of 17 to become a figure in world football.

Pape Diouf will remain known worldwide for being the first and only black president of a great European club: Olympique de Marseille. “It is a painful observation,” he said. “European society excludes ethnic minorities.” His words were strong. And for good reason: before becoming a great figure in football, Pape Diouf was an enlightened and cultivated sports journalist. He had obtained the esteem of his colleagues and friends from the Union of Sports Journalists in France (UJSF). He remained in the journalistic world as a shareholder of the European Institute of Journalism in Marseille.

With a degree in political science, he started his journalistic career as a freelancer for the local daily newspaper “La Marseillaise”. Very quickly, he was hired to cover the news of Olympique de Marseille. He was “poached” to launch a new sports daily in France, “Le Sport”. Financially, the business quickly turned into a fiasco. But it forced “L’Equipe” to question itself for the benefit of readers and of the sports world in France.

This world today unanimously pays homage to Pape Diouf.

Source: Jean -Paul Savart| AIPS Executive Committee member