Former Senegal and Premier League midfielder Papa Bouba Diop has died at the age of 42, according to reports.
Bouba Diop, who arrived in England in 2004 when he joined Fulham from Lens and went on to play for Portsmouth and briefly West Ham and Birmingham, had been suffering with a long-term illness, according to reports in his homeland.
Fulham tweeted early on Sunday evening: "We are devastated to hear news reports this evening that Papa Bouba Diop has passed away, aged 42. Rest well, Wardrobe."
For you, Wardrobe.— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) November 29, 2020
RIP Papa Bouba Diop. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/f0WHEVvhka
Portsmouth posted: "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."
The 6ft 5in player, nicknamed 'The Wardrobe', scored the opening goal at the 2002 World Cup finals when Senegal upset reigning champions France 1-0.
FIFA said on its World Cup Twitter account: "FIFA is saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal legend Papa Bouba Diop. Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero."
Papa Bouba Diop: 1978 - 2020.— #TotalCAFCL (@CAF_Online) November 29, 2020
Rest In Peace lion. ♥️🇸🇳 pic.twitter.com/UrEY5y3Oit
He made more than 80 appearances in all competitions for Fulham, scoring nine goals, and in 2007 moved to Pompey, for whom he featured over 50 times.
Bouba Diop, whose former clubs also included Swiss sides Neuchatel Xamax and Grasshoppers and Greek club AEK Athens, won 63 caps for his country, scoring 11 goals.