- Title: Ivorians mourn the death of footballer Cheick Tiote,
- Date: 7th June 2017
- Summary: ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST (JUNE 06, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (French) FORMER IVORY COAST NATIONAL TEAM COACH, YEO PAUL SAYING: "He was a young man who went at the highlight of his career and who had all his future ahead of him. He was really an important part of football. He was an example because he played at all levels of football, from junior to senior. By the grace of God, he managed to bring back home a trophy for his country. He was part of the team that brought back the second Cup of Africa to Ivory Coast." VARIOUS OF FELIX HOUPHOUET BOIGNY STADIUM
- Embargoed: 21st June 2017 16:41
- Keywords: Beijing Enterprises Newcastle Sports Tiote Cheick Football
- Location: ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST/ FRISCO, TEXAS/ BEIJING, CHINA/ BRASILIA, BRAZIL
- City: ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST/ FRISCO, TEXAS/ BEIJING, CHINA/ BRASILIA, BRAZIL
- Country: Ivory Coast
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0056KA3I3B
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Ivorians are struggling to come to terms with the death of former Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote, who died in hospital on Monday (June 05) after collapsing during a training session in China.
The Chinese club, Beijing Enterprises confirmed the 30-year-old's death on its Weibo social media account, saying the former Twente Enschede and Newcastle United midfielder had "fainted without any warning" during training.
In Ivory Coast's economic capital Abidjan, fans expressed shock at the loss of the latest high-profile African player to have collapsed and died while playing football.
"I am really shocked by his sudden death, it's really shocking. We don't know really where the heart attack came from, but it's really shocking," said one Abidjan resident, Kouame Ngoran.
"It really hurts because he was a great player. Even if he died at 30, I really appreciate what he achieved as a footballer. I was really surprised yesterday when my dad told me the news of his death. We looked at the sport news and when we heard that Tiote was dead. It was painful because of how great of a player he was and I think he deserves every honour he gets," said another football fan, Ulrich Nguessan.
"He was very talented and he was very ambitious. It hurts. All Ivorians are hurting as well. But it's God's will, we have to accept it," added another fan Minda Kone.
Tiote grew up playing football barefoot on the streets of his hometown of Yamoussoukro before moving to Europe with Belgian club Anderlecht in 2005.
He moved to Twente in 2008 and was part of the side which won the Eredivisie title in 2010. He played at the 2010 and 2014 World Cup and was a member of the Ivory Coast squad which won the 2015 African Cup of Nations.
A combative defensive midfielder, Tiote's more than 130 appearances for Newcastle featured many yellow cards but only one goal.
It was a spectacular effort, though, a left-footed volley from well outside the penalty area two minutes from time which secured Newcastle's comeback from 4-0 down to secure a 4-4 draw against Arsenal in February.
Newcastle United, where Tiote played for seven years before moving to China, said the club was "devastated" at the news, while manager Rafa Benitez spoke of his "sadness" at the death of "a true professional ... and above all, a great man".
Former Elephants coach, Yeo Paul remembered Tiote as a fierce competitor and a kind person.
"He was a young man who went at the highlight of his career and who had all his future ahead of him. He was really an important part of football. He was an example because he played at all levels o football, from junior to senior. By the grace of God, he managed to bring back home a trophy for his country. He was part of the team that brought back the second Cup of Africa to Ivory Coast," Paul added.
Tiote's move to Beijing earlier this year was his second attempt to cash in on the riches on offer in the Chinese Super League after holding talks with Shanghai Shenhua in 2016.
Former England manager Steve McLaren who coached Tiote at Twente and Newcastle, said Tiote's motivation was to provide for an extended family which, he told one interviewer, included nine brothers and sisters.
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