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World Cup 2022 records death number four

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Argentina’s qualification for the final match of the Qatar 2022 World Cup has been marred by the news of yet another death, making it the fourth occurrence at the on-going World Cup.

At the imposing Lusail Stadium, venue of the crucial semi-final match and the designation site for the Sunday final match, a Kenyan security guard, John Njau Kibue, aged 24.  had a fatal fall days before the Argentina – Croatia match.

But by Wednesday, his death was confirmed after an initial report that that his condition had stabilised.  However, he died after three days in hospital. Qatari organisers say they “are investigating the circumstances leading to the fall as a matter of urgency”.

But in Kenya, the family of the dead security man are not taking things lightly as they are demanding for answers on circumstances leading to the fall and the eventual death.

 

Organisers inisted that the medical teams immediately attended the scene and provided emergency treatment before he was transferred to Hamad Medical Hospital’s intensive care unit via ambulance.

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“We regret to announce that, despite the efforts of the medical team, he sadly passed away in hospital on Tuesday 13 December, after being in the intensive care unit for three days,” the statement said.

“His next of kin have been informed. We send our sincere condolences to his family, colleagues and friends during this difficult time.”

Kibue’s family in Kenya are hoping to receive more than just condolences, however, as they continue to wait for the company he worked for to explain what really happened.

“We regret to announce that, despite the efforts of the medical team, he sadly passed away in hospital on Tuesday 13 December, after being in the intensive care unit for three days,” the statement said.

“His next of kin have been informed. We send our sincere condolences to his family, colleagues and friends during this difficult time.”

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Kibue’s family in Kenya are hoping to receive more than just condolences, however, as they continue to wait for the company he worked for to explain what really happened.

“For us as a family – definitely, we want some answers. And if possible, we want for them to facilitate the return of the body,” Samuel Njau, John’s uncle, told Reuters, referring to the Qatari government and the company Kibue worked for.

That company, Al Sraiya Security Services, has not communicated with the family officially nor explained what happened, Njau said.

“It has been so unfortunate and devastating for us as a family,” Njau said.

The 24-year-old Kibue had been working in Qatar for a little over a year in the hopes of earning enough money to help his family.

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His family shared pictures of a smiling Kibue, an Argentina fan, posing for pictures at the Argentina v Netherlands match. He fell to his death after that game, his uncle said.

Qatar has long been a popular destination for Kenyan migrant workers.

Last year, Malcolm Bidali, a Kenyan security guard in Qatar who blogged about poor working conditions there, was detained and accused of spreading disinformation before being released.

The World Cup organisers said they are investigating the circumstances leading to Kibue’s fall “as a matter of urgency” and would provide further information pending the outcome of the investigation.

“We will also ensure that his family receive all outstanding dues and monies owed,” the statement added.

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Last week, Qatar launched a work safety investigation into the death of a Filipino following reports that the man died while working at a training site during the World Cup.

Journalists Khalid al-Misslam, Roger Pearce and Grant Wahl have also died while covering the World Cup, the first to be held in the Middle East.

The World Cup final will be staged at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday, with Argentina facing the winners of the semi-final between France and Morocco being played later on Wednesday.

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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