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Republic defender Shane Duffy: Cheick Tiote death puts football in perspective

Shane Duffy has spoken of his sorrow at the death of former Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote.

The 25-year-old Republic of Ireland and Brighton defender, who underwent life-saving surgery in May 2010 after suffering a lacerated liver in a freak training-ground accident, sent his best wishes to Tiote's friends and family.

Duffy said: "It was dreadful news. It's a tough time for football when you hear stuff like that, and you just look at life a little bit differently.

"It's sad. My prayers go to his family and the people close to him. It's just not nice."

Tiote, 30, collapsed while training with Chinese club Beijing Enterprises and died on Monday, sparking shock around the football world.

Duffy's life was saved by the swift and expert intervention of Ireland's medical staff, and the experience has made him appreciate what has come his way since.

He said: "It puts football aside. There's a lot more than football when you think about it like that.

"The football world is shocked. There have been a couple recently, which is not nice for the game. It's nice to see the whole football world behind it and the support he's got.

"But as I said, it's not nice and my prayers are with his family."

Republic manager Martin O'Neill twice sent Sunderland into battle with a Newcastle side featuring Tiote, who picked up a 25th-minute red card for a typically robust challenge on striker Steven Fletcher on the second occasion, during his time in charge on Wearside.

O'Neill said: "It's really sad, I must admit - really, really sad. He was a young man in the prime of his life and a really combative player, really very strong and certainly in those games, he used to cause us plenty of problems.

"It's very, very sad indeed."

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