Tears as Tiote’s Body Arrives in Abidjan (PHOTOS)

As the remains of Ivorian footballer, Cheick Tiote arrives Port Bouet Airport in Abidjan, the capital of his native Ivory Coast, Wilfried Bony was among the pallbearers on Thursday afternoon.

The Manchester City forward and other former teammates of Tiote’s with the Ivory Coast national team carried the casket on their shoulders after being flown from Beijing where he tragically passed away.

Cheick Tiote's coffin is carried by his former Ivory Coast team-mates at Port Bouet airport

Bony
Bony

Family members displayed their grief as Tiote’s coffin was carried through the airport, where fans also came to pay their respects.

Tiote's casket is carried through arrivals at the Port Bouet airport, the largest in the Ivory Coast

Tiote’s casket is carried through arrivals at the Port Bouet airport, the largest in the Ivory Coast

Former Ivory Coast national team manager Herve Renard was also in attendance on Thursday

Tiote suffered a suspected heart attack on June 5 during a training session with his club Beijing Enterprises and later passed away.

There was a memorial service for him held in Beijing on Tuesday which was attended by his ex-Newcastle team-mate Papiss Cisse, who plays in China with Shandong Luneng.

‘I lived some extraordinary moments with this man and today he’s gone,’ said Cisse at the service as he fought back tears.

A family member shows their grief at the service as mourners turned up to pay their respects

One fan painted himself in black and white and wore a hat with the message 'farewell'

A mural featuring images of Tiote playing for the Ivory Coast was displayed at the airport

Beijing Enterprises players were also present at that service as they paid their respects to Tiote, who joined them from Newcastle in February.

Sportsmail revealed earlier this week that Beijing Enterprises had no emergency cardiac equipment at their training base which which to treat him.

And Manchester United legend Andy Cole questioned whether more can be done to protect players who suffer from heart problems.

Tiote during a training session with Chinese second division side Beijing Enterprises

 

‘If someone is only 30 and they pass away, the question that is naturally going to be asked is ‘Why? What’s gone on there? Why has he passed away so early?’, Cole said to BBC Radio Five Live.

‘It’s a strange one. Cheick Tiote hadn’t been in China that long – a few months – so he must have had a medical to complete the transfer. Was nothing picked up in that medical?

‘Is anything actually being done? Is it being looked into? We need to nail it down and get to the bottom of why and what it is.

Bony and Tiote celebrate after winning the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast

Bony and Tiote compete while playing for former clubs Swansea and Newcastle respectively

‘Because it seems to be happening to more and more professional footballers – fit, strong men.’

Tiote spent seven years at Newcastle and is best remembered for scoring a stunning equaliser in the 4-4 draw against Arsenal in February 2011.

He also featured for Anderlecht, Twente and made 55 appearances for the Ivory Coast senior side, winning the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015.

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