|(Uniformed staff members salute Cheik Tiote remains in China - Reuters)|
The solid and tough tackling Ivorian is said to have “suddenly fainted” during a regular training session on Monday and taken to hospital where he died.
Tiote's body was expected in the Ivory Coast from China on Thursday. He was one of 10 children.
Not a first, such calamities befell Marc-Vivien Foe, aged 28, in June 2003 during a Confederations Cup semifinal against Colombia in Lyon, France. The Cameroon midfielder collapsed after a heart attack.
Antonio Puerta (22) of Spain, in August 2007 collapsed while playing for Sevilla in a La Liga match against Getafe. His death three days later was a result multiple organ failure stemming from prolonged cardiac arrest.
The Motherwell captain, Phil O’Donnell, December 2007, died aged 35, of heart failure towards the end of his side’s 5-3 Scottish Premier League win over Dundee United. The Scottish played for land, Celtic and Sheffield Wednesday.
Another Spaniard, Daniel Jarque (26), died in his hotel room during a pre-season trip to Coverciano in Italy due to heart attack in August 2009.
The 21-year-old Henry Chinonso Ihelewere of Nigeria died in August 5, 2012. He played for Delta Tulcea as a substitute during a friendly against Romanian rivals Balotesti when he collapsed. He was taken to hospital but he never regained consciousness.
On July 27, 2013, Sekou Camara of Mali also collapsed on the field during Indonesian outfit's Pelita Bandung Raya, now known as Madura United, practice session in Bandung. He was rushed to the nearest hospital, but died on the way there. The cause of death was a heart attack.
A Nigerian, David Oniya collapsed three minutes after kick-off in a friendly match for Malaysian outfit T-Team against Kelantan and died less one hour later in hospital on 13 June 2015.
Patrick Ekeng, another Cameroonian international - May 6, 2016 fell to the floor in the 70th minute of a televised Romanian league match between his side Dinamo Bucharest and Viitorul. Hospital staff were unable to resuscitate him on his arrival and was pronounced dead due to a heart failure two hours later.
Fabricio Muamba lived to see another day after his collapse on the field of play when West Ham United played Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Safety and medical equipment was available pitch side. Previous emergencies and calls especially by Jose Mourinho ensured clubss facilities did include a defibrillators.
In the 1990s, Nigerian Nwanko Kanu underwent a heart surgery which prevented a certain calamity.
Surely, more footballers who have died through cardiac failure since 1990 are of African descent. Is there is a link between heart failure and African football players?