10 May 2012

Cameroon/Senegal: Jules Bocande Passes On

Photo: APS
Jules François Bocandé.

The former Senegalese football icon died in Metz on Monday, aged 54.

Barely 72 hours after the death of former Nigerian star striker, Rashidi Yekini, Africa has once more been hit by death with the passing away of the Senegalese football icon, Jules François Bocande. The former Senegalese international and coach died on Monday in Metz, France following a surgical procedure to deal with a month-long ailment caused by a stroke. The Senegalese Football Federation confirmed the news on Monday evening, adding that the former striker had been ill for months after he suffered a stroke and recently travelled to France for treatment, where he died after a surgical intervention

Bocande began his professional career in 1978 at Senegalese club Casa Sport but it was at FC Metz the dreadlocked striker enjoyed wide success, scoring 25 goals in the 1985-86 season to finish top scorer of the then Championnat de France. He later on moved to Paris Saint Germain, Nice and Lens and participated in the 1986, 1990 and 1992 Africa Cup of Nations, scoring 20 goals for the Teranga Lions in 73 appearances. Upon his retirement from international football in 1994, he was appointed as the national team's coach and deputized for Frenchman Bruno Metsu during the 2002 FIFA World Cup. In 2009, he was named by CAF as an African Football legend alongside Stephen Keshi of Nigeria and Angolan Osvaldo Saturnino de Oliviera "Jesus" at the CAF Awards Gala held in Accra, Ghana.

The Senegalese government announced on state television that the fallen hero will be given a state funeral. Meanwhile messages of condolence and eulogies have been pouring in from every corner of the world. To the president of the Confederation of African Football, Issa Hayatou, Bocande's death is another blow for African football following the demise of former Nigeria striker Rashidi Yekini last weekend.

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