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Thousands mourn as footballer Cheick Tiote's body is brought to Ivory Coast

Pallbearers carry the casket of the late Ivorian midfielder Cheick Tiote upon its arrival at Abidjan’s airport on Thursday, pic/afp
Pallbearers carry the casket of the late Ivorian midfielder Cheick Tiote upon its arrival at Abidjan’s airport on Thursday, Pic/AFP

Abidjan (Ivory Coast): Around a thousand fans and some twenty international teammates were present at Abidjan airport on Thursday to pay their respects as the body of footballer Cheick Tiote, who died in China earlier this month aged 30, was brought home.

He was a key member of the Ivory Coast team which ended a 23-year drought after 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.

"I have come here for my brother, my friend. Words cannot explain the depths of my sadness," said Man City striker Bony. "He was like a little brother, like family and we’re here there to show that — we shared everything," said the 35-year-old Keita.

Keita was wearing a white t-shirt with the words ‘Rest in peace Cheicky’ upon it.

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