Migrant worker dies at World Cup after falling from top of Lusail Stadium

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 storey of the Lusail Stadium late at night after Argentina’s quarter-final victory over the Netherlands on Saturday.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the World Cup organising body, said Kibue had died after three days in intensive care and that an inquest into the circumstances surrounding his fall would be carried out “as a matter of urgency”.

“On Saturday 10 December, John Njau Kibue, a security guard at Lusail Stadium, suffered a serious fall while on duty,” the SC said. “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. His next of kin have been informed.

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“Qatar’s tournament organisers are investigating the circumstances leading to the fall as a matter of urgency and will provide further information pending the outcome of the investigation.”

The incident occurred at about 2am. One witness told the Guardian that Kibue had fallen from the highest outside concourse close to gate 30 of the stadium.

Kibue’s family are requesting greater clarity on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy. “We received news [on Tuesday] morning that he passed on,” Anne Wanjiru, Kibue’s sister, told the Standard newspaper in Nairobi. “We are very heartbroken.”

Wanjiru called for help from the Kenyan government and Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino. “We want answers on the circumstances of his death,” she said. “They are claiming he was intoxicated. We hear he had worked for long hours. The clarity of how he fell is not coming out. We don’t know where to start. It is very painful – they should help us.”

Kibue is the second migrant worker confirmed as having died while working at the World Cup. Last week, a Filipino national died at the Sealine Resort, the training site for the Saudi Arabia national team. According to reports, he sustained head injuries after falling off a ramp in wet conditions.

The SC has confirmed an investigation into the death. The chief executive of the World Cup, Nasser al-Khater, appeared to dismiss concerns over the tragedy. “Death is a natural part of life, whether it’s at work, whether it’s in your sleep,” he said in response to questions about the death, first reported by the Athletic.

“We’re in the middle of a World Cup. And we have a successful World Cup. And this is something you want to talk about right now?” he said.

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