Ibrahim Toure, the younger sibling of world-class Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) footballers Yaya and Kolo Toure, has died. The Cote d’Ivoire football team announced the passing of the third Toure brother yesterday in an official statement witnessed by the Bleacher Report.
The Ivory Coast Football Association also stated that the remaining brothers have been deeply affected by Ibrahim’s passing away, which happened in the English city of Manchester this past Thursday. Further in the statement, the ICFA offered its deepest condolences to the Toure family.
The Cote d’Ivoire national side before a match against Poland in 2010.
The statement reads:
“Kolo and Yaya Toure just heard about the death of their young brother, Toure Oyala Ibrahim. The entire Ivorian delegation want to show their support to the players.
The football Ivory Coast federation president (FIF) and the Executive Committee announced to the entire family of Ivorian football the death of Toure Oyala Ibrahim, the younger brother of Toure Kolo Abib and Toure Yaya Gnegneri, which happened on the 19th of June in Manchester (England).
In such a sad situation, the players from the Ivory Coast national team, and the entire delegation here in Brazil, show their support to the Toure brothers and their whole family. The president of Football Ivory Coast Federation and the Executive Committee ask Ivorians for their prayers.“
Ibrahim had like his brothers become a shining star in the world of football. Aged only 28 at the time of his death, the professional player had played in Egypt for Misr El-Maqasah, before relocating across the Mediterranean to play for Lebanese side Al Safaa where he featured as one of that team’s strikers. As a centre forward, Ibrahim also featured highly for many Far Eastern sides while his brothers sought their chances developing their sporting careers in the top flight clubs of England.
Born in the Ivory Coast town of Bouaké on the 27th September 1985, the youngest Toure brother first appeared on the international scene for Ukrainian side Metalurh Donetsk in 2003, before starting with a French club.
He began a globetrotting career, seeing action on the pitch in Ukraine, Syria and France, but was never able to join the roster for his country of birth. Fans and clubs have expressed their shock on Twitter and forums, with Kolo’s team, Liverpool, tweeting “The thoughts of everybody at #LFC are with Kolo Toure following the news of the passing of his brother, Ibrahim…” Kolo is currently a defender for Liverpool. Yaya’s club, Manchester City, also expressed their condolences: “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 thoughts of everyone connected with City are with the Toure family at this most difficult time.” Condolences were also sent in by Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president as well as teammates of the surviving Toure brothers.
Kolo and Yaya are both currently in Brazil with the Cote d’Ivoire national side. The west African nation’s first match in the tournament had Yaya in action for the whole ninety minutes, which saw Les Éléphants slide to a comfortable 2-1 victory over Japan. Their next match against a respectable Colombian side saw them defeated 2-1 at Brasilia. The death of Ibrahim was notified to his brothers a few hours later.
Ibrahim died after a short battle with cancer. He was undergoing chemotherapy treatment to battle his tumours at the Christie clinic in Manchester. The specialist cancer facility describes itself as “one of Europe’s leading cancer centres” according to an ITV News bulletin published in the wake of the death announcement.
A video of Ibrahim Toure being interviewed by an Arabic news channel after he was signed by Al-Safaa FC of the Lebanese Premier League last year.