The agent of the late Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote on Wednesday called for the media to cease making unsubstantiated claims about the reasons for his death.
The 52-time capped star — a member of the Ivory Coast squad that ended a 23-year drought in winning the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations — died after fainting during training with second division side Beijing Enterprises on June 5. He was 30 years of age.
His death shocked the football world, reverberating in England, where he played for seven years at Newcastle United before joining the Beijing team in February.
However, with his body being flown home to the Ivory Coast — after an emotional farewell held at a funeral home in China on Tuesday — Emanuele Palladino issued a statement to Press Association Sport calling on the speculation over why he died to end out of sympathy for his family’s feelings.
“There is increasing speculation regarding the circumstances and reasons behind Cheick Tiote’s death with many inaccuracies being printed in the press on this subject,” Palladino said.