EPL

Former Senegal star Papa Bouba Diop dies at 42

By Sports Desk November 29, 2020

Papa Bouba Diop, a star of Senegal's famous World Cup campaign in 2002, has died. 

Diop, 42, had reportedly been battling a long-term illness. 

The former midfielder played for four different clubs in England, enjoying spells at Fulham, Portsmouth, West Ham and Birmingham City after impressing in France for Lens. 

In a Twitter statement on Sunday, Lens said: "It is with great sadness that Racing Club de Lens have just learned of the passing of their former player Papa Bouba Diop, at the age of 42. 

"We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones."

Diop is best remembered for helping Senegal to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup 18 years ago. He scored the only goal of the game as they stunned reigning champions France 1-0 in the opening match in Seoul. 

He scored twice more in a 3-3 draw with Uruguay as Senegal progressed from the group stage before beating Sweden in the last 16. 

Their remarkable run was ended by Turkey, who triumphed 1-0 to progress through to the semi-finals. 

Diop began his career in Senegal with ASC Diaraf before playing in Switzerland for Vevey, Neuchatel Xamax and Grasshoppers, winning the Super League title in 2001. 

He also spent a season in Greece with AEK Athens, where he won the Greek Cup in 2010-11, three years after lifting the FA Cup with Portsmouth. 

Diop, who won 63 senior caps for his country, was also part of the team that reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2002, where they lost to Cameroon on penalties.

Related items

  • Pochettino plans to keep on rotating as PSG set for busy run-in Pochettino plans to keep on rotating as PSG set for busy run-in

    Mauricio Pochettino knows the importance of rotation within his squad as Paris Saint-Germain prepare to fight on three fronts in the closing weeks of the season.

    PSG secured a place in the Coupe de France semi-finals in midweek thanks to a 5-0 win over Angers, striker Mauro Icardi scoring a hat-trick on his return following a month out with injury.

    Marco Verratti is also available again after overcoming COVID-19, though Pochettino did not reveal if the Italian midfielder will make his first start for the club since March 21 in Saturday's Ligue 1 trip to Metz.

    As well as bidding to complete a league and cup double on the domestic front, PSG also have a Champions League semi-final coming up against Manchester City - they host the English side in the first leg on Wednesday.

    "We need to manage the squad and the players well for every game so that we always send out a competitive team," Pochettino told the media on Friday.

    "We have been playing every three days for three and a half months now and if we want to achieve our goals, all the players will be important.

    "They will all need to take part and perform at a high standard, especially if we want to win all three competitions that we are competing in.

    "We are happy with the team and the players and the effort they are making. Our idea is to always improve and evolve.

    "We want to be better in every game. We are going to enter the most important part of the season, and we want to win all the competitions in which we are involved."

    PSG sit a point behind leaders Lille in the table with five games to go as they chase a 10th Ligue 1 title.

    They have won their previous nine league meetings against weekend opponents Metz, scoring 28 goals in the process at an average of 3.1 per game.

    For Pochettino, making use of the resources he has available to him within the squad is crucial, considering the schedule during a campaign played out amid the backdrop of a health pandemic.

    "It is not an advantage or a disadvantage. It is a case of adapting to the circumstances that we have never lived through in or life or in football," he replied when asked about constantly changing the starting line-up.

    "It is down to the reasons and the circumstances which have meant that with COVID-19, our team has not been consistent in terms of having the same team.

    "That is just a reality but is has nothing to with transfers in the future. It is to do with the circumstances we have had to live through with coronavirus and injuries. It doesn't just apply to us either, it goes for almost every club in the world.

    "On top of that, we have been playing every three days, so rotation is needed to put out a competitive team and a fresh team at all times."

    Metz are winless in their previous six Ligue 1 games (D2 L4) while PSG have won their past five away on the spin, their best run on the road since November 2019-February 2020.

  • Ryan Giggs charged with assaulting two women, will not coach Wales at Euro 2020 Ryan Giggs charged with assaulting two women, will not coach Wales at Euro 2020

    Wales manager Ryan Giggs has been charged with assaulting two women, Greater Manchester Police said.

    The 47-year-old former Manchester United footballer has also been charged with one count of coercive and controlling behaviour.

    A statement from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said: "A man from Salford has been charged with three offences after police were called to reports of a disturbance in the Worsley area in November 2020.

    "Ryan Giggs has been charged with causing actual bodily harm to a woman in her 30s and common assault of a woman in her 20s. Both counts relate to an incident on the evening of Sunday 1 November 2020."

    The GMP statement said the coercive and controlling behaviour charge against Giggs concerned the period from December 2017 to November 2020.

    "He has been bailed and is due to appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court on Wednesday 28 April 2021," the force said.

    "Police were called at 10.05pm on Sunday 1 November 2020 to reports of a disturbance at an address on Chatsworth Road, Worsley.

    "A woman in her 30s was treated for injuries at the scene."

    Giggs has denied the allegations against him.

    He won 13 Premier League titles and the Champions League twice during a hugely successful career with United before announcing his playing retirement in May 2014.

    He was named Wales manager in January 2018, taking over the job following the departure of Chris Coleman.

    The Football Association of Wales (FAW) said Giggs would not be in charge of the team for the upcoming Euro 2020 finals, following the charges.

    Robert Page will serve as manager, the FAW said.

    "An FAW board meeting will be convened to discuss these developments and its impact on the association and the national team," the FAW said in a statement.

  • UEFA doesn't care about the players - Guardiola laments Champions League reforms UEFA doesn't care about the players - Guardiola laments Champions League reforms

    Pep Guardiola took another shot at UEFA over its expanded Champions League format, claiming European football's governing body does not care about player workloads.

    Guardiola came out strongly against the ill-fated Super League plans this week, decrying the closed-shop format as "not sport", despite Manchester City being one of the 12 teams to sign up before withdrawing.

    But the City boss also said the launch of a breakaway project was evidence UEFA had "failed" and he was similarly uncomplimentary about reforms that will see the Champions League contested by 36 teams as opposed to its current 32 from the 2024-25 season, with 10 group games instead of six for each side.

    "Every time it’s the same. All the managers and players ask for better quality and the football world goes for quantity," Guardiola said ahead of Sunday's EFL Cup final against Tottenham at Wembley.

    "But we are not in charge of that. We have to ask UEFA and FIFA to extend the year, maybe have 400 days a year. Maybe then they can find a solution on that."

    City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan tweeted his opposition to the Champions League revamp, branding it "the lesser of two evils" when set against the Super League.

    Guardiola feels the schedule for elite teams is already at breaking point, claiming he has been unable to undertake significant tactical and coaching work with the Premier League leaders throughout a compacted 2020-21 calendar.

    "Every season is the same and, at the end of the day, the players they play because they love to play, but the injuries come," he said.

    "UEFA knows that, of course they know it. Do they care? Absolutely not. They put on more games and more competitions to do it.

    "And we are going to play of course. We are lucky. We are going to be in the Champions League next season, we are going to play this competition, but it's a lot, honestly.

    "We didn't have one midweek off. So you cannot train. I cannot train, I'm not a manager, I cannot train. I do not train. We just handle the team, make them as sharp as possible and the best as possible.

    "I cannot train anything. It's just videos, and just [telling the players to] remember what we have to do. We don't have time in the pre-season to make the principles.

    "We cannot forget that we started the season against Wolves without one friendly game. We didn't have a friendly to prepare. Since then we didn't have one midweek off. As a manager, yes, we had the international break, but the players went to national teams for three games in six or seven or 10 days.

    "It's crazy, but every time we speak about that, when we go to UEFA meetings, we talk about that and they say, 'Yes, yes, well done. We take note'.

    "But then we play more games, and next season we will create a new competition for the guys not in the Champions League or the Europa League [the Europa Conference League]. They will play a new competition, yes, another one."

    Despite there being plenty of praise for UEFA over how it handled football's crisis this week, Guardiola for one is not screaming "encore".

    "It's a lot," he reiterated. "It's like an actor or an actress in the theatre making three shows a day. They don't enjoy it. Once a day they like it, to go on stage and make a good performance. But three times a day is too much."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.