The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has joined others to pay tribute to the Senegal Footbal Federation over the demise of their former player Papa Bouba Diop.
Diop was confirmed to have died on Sunday at the age of 42 after suffering from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease for a long period.
The NFF in a statement on it’s official website expressed their deep condolence to the family of the Senegalese midfielder.
“We are sad to hear of the sudden demise of former Senegalese midfielder, Papa Bouba Diop.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Senegalese FA and his family. May his soul Rest In Peace.
His former club, RC Lens also sent their condolences via a statement on Twitter, writing:
“It is with great sadness that Racing Club de Lens has just learned of the disappearance of its former player Papa Bouba Diop , at the age of 42.
“We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones.”
World governing body FIFA declared:
“FIFA is saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal legend Papa Bouba Diop.
“Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero.”
Diop became a national hero when he scored the goal which saw Senegal beat France 1-0 in their opening World Cup game in 2002.
The midfielder first arrived in English football when he joined Fulham from Lens in 2004, becoming known as “The Wardrobe” at Craven Cottage.
He joined Portsmouth in 2007 and after a stint with AEK Athens returned to English football by joining West Ham in 2011 and helping them win promotion back to the Premier League.
After one season with the Hammers he joined Birmingham City before being released in January 2013.
Diop won 63 caps for Senegal, scoring 11 goals including his historic World Cup strike.