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With three journalists dead at World Cup, FIFA opens condolence register




After an unprecedented deaat of three journalists at the World Cup in Qatar, the World football governing body, FIFA has opened condolence register for the departed.

On Tuesday, just before the semi-final match of Argentina and Croatia, FIFA announced:

“We are opening books of condolence in the FIFA Media Centres at all remaining stadiums for those who tragically passed away while covering this tournament; Khalid al-Misslam, Roger Pearce and Grant Wahl. Our thoughts remain with your families and friends!

It came to light that even before the World Cup kicked off, a journalist had died. He is  Roger Pearce.  He was techincal director of a television station, ITV Sports. His death occured on 21 November, two days after the World Cup began.

ITV announced the obituary just before the Wales-USA match. The announcemrnt ran thus:


With his death, there are now three journalists who had suffered the same fate. The others are Qatari photojournalist Khalid al-Misslam.

 His death occurred on November 21 and was announced on ITV’s own broadcast ahead of the Wales-USA match.

“We have very sad news to bring you from here in Qatar,” said presenter Mark Pougatch.

 “Our technical director, Roger Pearce, who was here for his eighth World Cup, sadly passed away. Roger was a highly respected figure in the sports broadcasting industry, for ITV he was instrumental in the logistical planning and coverage of the Rugby World Cup, Football World Cup and European Championships,” said the presenter.

 “He always had a smile on his face and left a smile on your face,” he said, calling Pearce “professional and extremely popular.”


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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