A 24-year-old Kenyan, John Njue Kibue, has died while working as a security guard at the World Cup in Qatar, it has been confirmed. Kibue fell from the eighth floor of the Lusail stadium late at night after Argentina victory in the quarter-finals against the Netherlands Saturday.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the world Cup organizing body, said Kibue had died after three days in intensive care and that an investigation into the circumstances of his fall would be carried out “urgently”.
“On Saturday December 10, John Njau Kibue, Security Officer at Lusail Stadium, suffered a serious fall while on duty,” SC said. “We regret to inform you that, despite the efforts of the medical team, he sadly passed away in hospital on Tuesday December 13 after spending three days in intensive care. His next of kin have been informed.
“The Qatar tournament organizers are urgently investigating the circumstances leading to the fall and will provide further information pending the outcome of the investigation.”
The incident happened around 2 a.m. A witness told the Guardian that Kibue fell from the highest exterior hall near Gate 30 of the stadium.
Kibue’s family is asking for more clarity on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy. “We have received news [on Tuesday] morning that he passed away,” Anne Wanjiru, Kibue’s sister, told the Nairobi-based Standard newspaper. “We are very heartbroken.”
Wanjiru appealed to the Kenyan government and FIFA President Gianni Infantino for help. “We want answers about the circumstances of his death,” she said. “They claim he was drunk. We heard he worked long hours. The clarity of how he fell doesn’t come out. We don’t know where to start. It’s very painful – they should help us.
Kibue is the second migrant worker confirmed to have died while working at the World Cup. Last week, a Filipino national died at Sealine Resort, the training site of the Saudi Arabian national team. Reportedly, he suffered head injuries after falling off a ramp in wet conditions.
The SC has confirmed an inquest into the death. World Cup chief executive Nasser al-Khater seemed to dismiss concerns above the tragedy. “Death is a natural part of life, whether it’s at work or in your sleep,” he said in response to questions about the death, first reported by Athletic.
“We are in the middle of a World Cup. And we have a successful World Cup. And that’s something you want to talk about now? ” he said.