ABIDJAN – Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote, whose sudden death in China at just 30 years old shocked his country, was laid to rest Sunday.
A key member of the Ivory Coast team which ended a 23-year drought in winning the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, his manager from that time Herve Renard had made the trip as had teammates Salomon Kalou, Kader Keita and Wilfried Bony.
The forward moved to China in February from England’s Newcastle United.
Tiote was very well liked in English football circles after his stint with Newcastle, including six Premier League campaigns before their relegation last year.
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.
Tiote signed for Newcastle in 2010 and made 156 appearances for the club, becoming a firm favourite with fans.
Tiote’s coffin was draped in the country’s orange, white and green national flag before being taken to a mosque in the upmarket district of Riviera Golf where prayers were held.
Cheick Tiote was laid to rest today in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Former teammates were in attendance.
— Total:NUFC (@Total_NUFC) June 18, 2017
“It’s a huge loss for Ivorian and African football,” said former national team goalkeeper Boubacar Barry who played with Tiote in the victorious 2015 Africa Cup of Nations side.
“It’s a big loss because he was such a warrior on the pitch. On behalf of all the footballers here, I present my condolences to his family and his friends. Thank you Tiote, thank you.”
Tiote 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 signed for Newcastle in 2010 and made 156 appearances for the club, becoming a firm favourite with fans over his six years in England.