Nadia Nadim: ITV World Cup pundit returns to air just days after mother killed in road accident

ITV World Cup pundit Nadia Nadim has been praised for her “unbelievable bravery” after returning to the studio just days after her mother’s heartbreaking death.

The former Denmark international was taken off air during the country’s match against Tunisia last Tuesday after her mother was hit by a truck when coming home from the gym.

Nadim confirmed the news later that evening in an emotional social media post but the 34-year-old returned to air on Tuesday, one week after her mother’s death, for ITV’s coverage of Netherlands against Qatar.

Nadim was welcomed back by co-pundits Nigel de Jong and Joe Cole, while host Laura Woods opened the broadcast by allowing Nadim to say a few words about her late mother.

Nadim said she had decided to return to work because her mother raised her to be “strong” and said she wanted to make her proud.

Nadim fled Afghanistan with her mother and sisters as a child after the Taliban killed her father in 200, and arrived in Denmark as a refugee before representing the country 103 times in international football.

“My mom unfortunately passed away last Tuesday, very unexpected, in an accident,” Nadim said. “She was a very strong woman who inspired a lot of people around her. Obviously I’m sad but she raised us to be strong, and this is how I want to show to be strong.

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“I want to make her proud. I know she wanted me to be here. I remember when the accident happened, she had said that she wanted to go early to the gym, so she could see the show.

“So the reason I am here is to make her proud, to have my mind on football and on work, and try to build something instead of laying at home and feeling sorry for myself.”

Host Woods thanked Nadim for her “amazing words” and said she was an “inspiration”, while Nadim’s tribute also moved viewers on social media.

Nadim was praised for her “unbelievable bravery” - while BBC pundit Alex Scott replied “love and support to you”.