Cheick Tiote: Ivory Coast midfielder’s body flown back home for funeral

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Cheick Tiote’s body has been flown back to Ivory Coast where a private funeral for the Beijing Enterprises midfielder will take place.

Tiote, 30, who was a member of the Elephants squad that won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, collapsed and died during a training session with his Chinese club last week.

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On Tuesday there was a memorial service held in the Chinese capital, attended by family, friends and former team-mates.

The BBC understands that Tiote’s family wants him buried in his home town Yamoussoukro but the Ivory Coast Football Federation prefers Abidjan.

Hundreds of people, including former Elephants coach Herve Renard, were at Abidjan’s international airport to receive Tiote’s body on Thursday.

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Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony, Celtic defender Kolo Toure and ex-Arsenal forward Gervinho were also among the crowd.

Toure described the former Newcastle United midfielder as “a great player, a warrior” and said he was “shocked” by his death.

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