Body of former Newcastle midfielder, Cheick Tiote, has been flown back to the Ivory Coast and a private funeral for the former Newcastle midfielder will take place in his homeland.
30-year-old Tiote who was a member of the Elephants squad that won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, died on Monday, June 5, 2017, after he collapsed while training with his club, Beijing Enterprises.
Hundreds of fans and no fewer than twenty Ivory Coast players were present at Abidjan airport on Thursday to pay their respect, as the body of the football star was brought home.
In honor of the fallen hero, a memorial service was held in the Chinese capital on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, which was attended by family, friends and his former team-mates. Beijing Enterprises players were present at the service as they paid their respects to Tiote, who joined them from Newcastle in the second month of 2017.
Tiote’s family who attended the ceremony, have accompanied his body back to the Ivory Coast, where a private funeral service will be held.
Tiote’s Body Arrives
The grieving family of the deceased could not hold back their tears as late Tiote’s body arrived the Abidjan airport. Fans thronged the airport to pay their respects to the player.
Some Ivory Coast internationals flew home with the body of late Tiote. Manchester City forward Wilfried Bony and other former team-mates of Tiote’s with the Ivory Coast national team carried the casket on their shoulders.
The Man City player wore a t-shirt paying tribute to the late midfielder as he attended the occasion. There was also the presence of Former Ivory Coast national team coach Herve Renard. The president of the Ivorian Football Federation, Augustin Sidy Diallo was also present at the airport.
According to reports, Tiote’s family wants him buried in his hometown Yamoussoukro but the Ivory Coast Football Federation prefers Abidjan.
Tiote was a key member of the Ivory Coast team which ended a 23-year drought in winning the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. The 30-year-old signed for Newcastle in 2010 and made 156 appearances for the club.
He began his European club career with Belgian outfit Anderlecht and had a loan spell at Roda JC Kerkrade before moving to FC Twente in 2008. He moved to China in February 2017, from England’s Newcastle United, to join his last club Beijing Enterprises.