Former Ivory Coast and Newcastle United player Cheick Tiote has died after collapsing during training in Beijing.
Tiote was rushed to hospital after his collapse and was confirmed dead after emergency treatment. The 30-year-old played for Beijing Enterprises in China and was part of Ivory Coast’s 2015 AFCON winning team.
In February 2011, he scored a memorable goal as Newcastle United came back from 4-0 down to draw with Arsenal in the Premier League. He joined Beijing Enterprises Group FC for an undisclosed fee in February 2017.
A statement from Newcastle said: “The thoughts of everyone at Newcastle United are with Cheick’s family, friends, team-mates and everyone connected with the clubs he represented.”
The football fraternity has taken to Twitter to remember Tiote:
Liverpool FC ✔ @LFC tweeted, “The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with the family and friends of Cheick Tiote after his passing today. Rest in peace.”
ASAMOAH GYAN ✔ @ASAMOAH_GYAN3 tweeted, “Completely devastated and saddened by the death of Cheick Tiote…why now Bro… Rest Well.”
In May 2016, Cameroonian footballer Patrick Ekeng collapsed and died while playing for his club Dinamo Bucharest. The midfielder died from heart failure. Ekeng fell to the ground in the 70th minute of a televised Romanian League match between Dinamo and Viitorul. He was pronounced dead in hospital two hours later.
Samuel Okwaraji was the first major casualty of a dramatic on-field death in Africa, collapsing while playing for Nigeria in a World Cup qualifier against Angola in Lagos in 1989. An autopsy showed the 25-year-old, who was a law student and on the books of VfB Stuttgart in Germany, suffered congestive heart failure. He had an enlarged heart and high blood pressure.
His death left the continent shocked but there was a much wider audience in France in 2003 when Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe fell in the centre circle 15 minutes from the end of Cameroon’s Confederations Cup semi-final with Colombia in Lyon. Medics spent 45 minutes trying to restart Foe’s heart before he was pronounced dead. His autopsy found the Olympique Lyonnais player suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a hereditary condition which increases the risk of collapse during exercise. An award handed to the best African player in France’s top-flight Ligue 1 was named after Foe.
Other African internationals to die from heart attacks while playing were Amir Angwe and Endurance Idahor of Nigeria and Tunisian centre back Hedi Berkhissa, who collapsed during a friendly for his club Esperance against French side Lyon.
Zambia’s Chaswe Nsofwa died during a club match in Israel in 2007. In April, former Gabon defender Moise Brou Apanga suffered a heart attack training with his club FC 105 Libreville and died. Nigerian Nwankwo Kanu’s career was halted for nine months not long after he returned with a gold medal from the 1996 Olympics when Inter Milan’s doctors found a heart defect. Surgery in America to replace an aortic valve allowed the Nigerian striker to resume his career the following year.
Inter’s medical team also found Senegal’s Khalilou Fadiga had an irregular heartbeat after the club signed him and told one of the stand-out players of the 2002 World Cup to quit. But Fadiga carried on playing after joining Bolton Wanderers in 2004 where he had a defibrillator fitted after a collapse in the warm-up before a game at Tottenham Hotspur.
The quick thinking of a doctor in the crowd at the London club’s White Hart Lane stadium in 2012 saved the life of another Bolton player, Congolese-born Fabrice Muamba. He fell to the ground just before halftime but survived despite his heart having stopped beating for 78 minutes.
Author: Staff Writer