Younger brother of Ivory Coast's Yaya and Kolo Toure dies at 28
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - The younger brother of Ivory Coast players Yaya and Kolo Toure has died in Britain, the Ivory Coast Football Federation says.
Ibrahim Toure died Thursday aged 28, the Ivorian federation said in a statement on its website, and Yaya and Kolo were informed soon after Ivory Coast's 2-1 loss to Colombia at the World Cup in Brazil. The IFF did not give a cause of death but said Ibrahim died in Manchester, where Yaya plays his club football for English champions Manchester City in the Premier League.
British media reported that Ibrahim had died after a battle with cancer and had been receiving treatment in Manchester.
''A tough day for the Toure brothers. Just hours after the (Colombia) match ... Kolo and Yaya have learned of the death of their younger brother,'' the IFF said in its statement. ''The entire Ivorian delegation in Brazil supports them in this painful circumstance.''
Yaya captained the team against Colombia in Brasilia, while Liverpool defender Kolo was on the bench. The federation didn't say if the brothers would now leave the World Cup, where Ivory Coast is second in Group C behind Colombia and has a good chance of qualifying for the second round for the first time.
Manchester City, where Kolo also used to play, released a statement saying ''the thoughts of everyone connected with City are with the Toure family at this most difficult time. ''Ibrahim was a regular visitor to Carrington (training ground) and was a popular figure among the staff and players and was extremely close to his two older brothers,'' the club said.
Yaya, the current African player of the year, is a pivotal player in midfield for the West Africans. Ibrahim Toure played professional football himself, most recently for Lebanon club Al Safa.