Brother of Yaya and Kolo Toure dies in Manchester
Professional footballer died hours after Ivory Coast’s World Cup Group C loss to Colombia
Yaya Toure shields the ball from Colombia’s Carlos Sanchez during the Ivory Coast’s 2-1 World Cup Group C defeat, just hours before learning of the death of his brother, Ibrahim.
Manchester City have led the tributes to Ibrahim Toure, the younger brother of Kolo and Yaya Toure, who has died at the age of 28.
His death was announced by the Ivorian Football Federation, who said in a statement that Ibrahim, himself a player with Al Safa in Lebanon, passed away hours after the Ivory Coast’s 2-1 World Cup loss to Colombia on Thursday.
No official reason was given for the death, other than that it occurred in Manchester, where Yaya Toure plays his club football with City.
The Manchester Evening News reported Ibrahim Toure had been receiving treatment for cancer in the city.
City’s statement said:“The thoughts of everyone at Manchester City FC are with Yaya and Kolo Toure following the death of their younger brother Ibrahim.
“Ibrahim was a regular visitor to Carrington and was a popular figure among the staff and players and was extremely close to his two older brothers.
“The Ivorian Football Federation announced that Ibrahim passed away on Thursday, June 19th in Manchester and the thoughts of everyone connected with City are with the Toure family at this most difficult time.”
City captain Vincent Kompany also expressed his sympathy, tweeting: “My sincere condolences to the Toure family for the loss of Ibrahim. We are all saddened by this news. Keep strong.”
Yaya Toure played in the Ivory Coast’s Group C defeat to Colombia while Kolo Toure was an unused subustitute.
The Ivorian Federation said: “A tough day for the Toure brothers. Just hours after the match Colombia v Cote d’Ivoire (2-1), Kolo and Yaya have learned of the death of their younger brother Toure Oyala Ibrahim. The entire Ivorian delegation to Brazil supports them in this painful circumstance.
“The president of the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) and the Executive Committee are to inform the family of Ivorian football, the death of Ibrahim Toure occurred on Thursday June 19 in Manchester.
“In these painful circumstances, the players of the national team of Cote d’Ivoire as well as the entire Ivorian delegation present in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup are to demonstrate their compassion Toure brothers, members of the Elephants and the great Toure family.”
As recently as January, Ibrahim Toure had said in an interview with fifa.com that he hoped to one day join his brothers in the Ivorian national team.
Toure said: “I think I still have a chance of representing my country.
“If I manage to join a European side, maybe one day I’ll get called up to the national team.”
Toure also admitted he found it difficult that his career was constantly compared to that of his two brothers.
He added: “Of course there’s a huge amount of pressure on me wherever I go because I’m the brother of Yaya and Kolo Toure.
“But you mustn’t forget that I’m a forward, whereas Yaya is a midfielder and Kolo is a defender. Speaking for myself, I always give everything.”