A former Newcastle United midfielder, Cheick Tiote, has died after collapsing during training in China, a spokesperson for the player has announced.
The Ivory Coast international, 30, spent seven years with the Magppies making 138 league appearances before joining Chinese second-tier side Beijing Enterprises in February.
“It is with deep sadness I confirm that Cheick Tiote sadly passed away earlier today after collapsing in training.
“We cannot say any more at the moment and we request that his family’s privacy be respected at this difficult time. We ask for all your prayers.” said the spokesperson according to BBC Sports.
Born in the Ivory Coast, Tiote was part of the Ivorian squad that dethroned the Super Eagles to win the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
He began his professional career in Belgium with Anderlecht in 2005 before moving to Dutch side FC Twente, where he made 86 appearances and won the Eredivisie league title in the 2009-10 season under manager Steve McLaren.