Ivory Coast World Cup 2014: Gary Lineker and Radamel Falcao mistakenly claim Serey Die father died two hours before Ivory Coast vs Colombia kick-off

Player forced to explain his father had actually died in 2004

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The Independent Football

An emotional Serey Die was seen in floods of tears ahead of Ivory Coast’s 2-1 defeat to Colombia on Thursday, but reports that his father had died just two hours before kick-off proved to be untrue, catching out a number of people on social media.

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After pictures showed Die crying during the national anthem, reports soon claimed his father had passed away shortly before the match. But the midfielder later went on to his Instagram account to admit he was crying because of the passion of representing his country, and that his father had in fact passed away in 2004, although he did say he was thinking of him at the time.

Die said after the defeat: “I was going to play for my country. But it’s true that I thought about my father, who died in 2004.”

He added on Instagram: “Hi, I just wanted to tell you that everything they're saying about my dad’s passing is false my dad passed away in 2004. It was just emotions of proudness to be from Ivory Coast and serve my country that made me cry because I never thought to be at this level. I’m sorry for my mistake, I know that I've let you down but I will come back may God bless you.” [SIC]

Team-mates Didier Zokora, Serge Aurier and Cheick Tiote consoled their colleague before the match begun, where Gervinho’s effort for the Ivory Coast wasn’t enough to trigger a comeback after James Rodriguez and Juan Fernando Quintero gave Colombia a 2-0 lead.

BBC presenter Gary Lineker was among those who made the mistake as he announced that Die’s father had reportedly died in the build-up to the match, as did absent Colombia striker Radamel Falcao.

“A big hug for Serey Die today he was a great example for all of us who love this sport,” Falcao, who is missing the World Cup due to a knee injury, said on his Twitter account.

Lineker posted: “Serey Die who was so emotional during the Ivory Coast national anthem, lost his father 2 hours before kickoff. How awful!”

Die quickly composed himself and was involved in a peculiar incident with Colombia’s Juan Camilo Zuniga, in which the Ivorian threw himself to the floor in dramatic fashion.

Lineker was quick to jump to conclusions again, as he tweeted: “May well have just seen one of the worst and oddest dives in World Cup history from Die Serey. Have a look at halftime.”

Despite the accusation of diving, Lineker’s co-hosts in the BBC studio Thierry Henry, Alan Hanson and Danny Murphy believed that Die had gone to ground in disbelief that he had been penalised for the foul, and that it was more of a tantrum than a dive.

At least there were no tears on this occasion.