Newcastle United’s Cheick Tiote has been forced into an apology and the club have confirmed they have reprimanded the player after a video emerged of him holding a bottle of champagne while driving a car.
An image of Tiote appeared on the front page of Saturday’s edition of The Sun, under the headline ‘Prem Plonker’, which showed the Ivorian looking over his shoulder, champagne bottle in hand, while in control of a vehicle.
The video of this incident was published on the newspaper’s website after a friend of the midfielder had shared it on Facebook, and the clip showed Tiote giving more attention to the camera and alcoholic beverage than the road.
Newcastle were quick to act and had released a statement by midday condemning Tiote’s actions and stressing that they had reminded the 28-year-old of his ‘duties as a role model’, although did not reveal if they would be exacting any internal sanction.
Tiote, meanwhile, expressed his regret at the incident ahead of the encounter with Chelsea, for which he was picked to start by Alan Pardew despite this indiscretion.
“I deeply regret my actions and I am sorry for any offence caused,” Tiote said.
“I realise that as a professional footballer I have a responsibility to many people, including the club and its supporters and it is important for me to set a good example to others with my behaviour on and off the pitch.”