Bocande, 54, had been unwell for months after reportedly suffering a stroke and died following surgery in France. "I’m totally devastated," said FSF president Augustin Senghor. "It’s an enormous loss for Senegalese football." Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou called the death another blow to African football after Rashidi Yekini died on Friday.
The Nigerian, who scored his country’s first goal at a World Cup finals in 1994, passed away at the age of just 48. The dreadlocked Bocande never played at a World Cup but he did play a major role in engineering Senegal’s run to the last eight of the 2002 finals in Asia. He worked as assistant coach to Frenchman Bruno Metsu as the Teranga Lions stunned the world by reaching the quarter-finals.
"We knew that he was suffering," said Senghor. "Bocande revived Senegalese football. He gave everything to Senegalese football through his talent and his commitment." On the pitch, Bocande enjoyed his greatest success while playing for Metz, with whom he finished top scorer of France’s Ligue 1 championship in 1985-86.
Ironically, the Senegalese died in Metz after undergoing a surgical procedure in the French city. He also played for Paris Saint-Germain, Nice and Lens in France, while participating at three Africa Cup of Nations finals for Senegal.