Saturday 20 January 2018

Diego Simeone unwittingly informs woman about the death of her husband at World Cup with Twitter post

Diego Simeone, Coach of Club Atletico de Madrid
Diego Simeone, Coach of Club Atletico de Madrid

Ben Rumsby

The Atlético Madrid manager, Diego Simeone, appeared unwittingly to inform a woman about the death of her husband at the World Cup on Wednesday after expressing his “condolences” on Twitter.

Simeone, a former Argentina international, revealed his “pain” after his “friend” and compatriot, journalist Jorge ‘El Topo’ López, was killed in a car crash in Sao Paulo ahead of Wednesday night’s semi-final between his country and Holland.

Simeone’s message included the Twitter handle of López’s wife, Verónica Brunati, who, incredibly, seemed not to have been informed of the news.

Replying directly to last season’s Spanish title winner and Champions League runner-up, Brunati posted: “No. Diego, don’t tell me that. Someone, please call me.”

 Her cry for help from a Sao Paulo hotel prompted more than one message from Twitter users angered that the authorities or López’s employers had not told her of her husband’s death before it was made public.

López, 38, was killed in the early hours of Wednesday morning when a taxi in which he was travelling back to his hotel was hit by a stolen vehicle involved in a police chase.

The collision threw him from the taxi, whose driver escaped with an injured shoulder.

The three occupants of the stolen car, two of them teenagers, were unharmed and arrested by police.

A husband and father, López worked in Barcelona, where he became one of Lionel Messi’s favourite journalists, frequently interviewing the Argentina talisman during the latter’s rise to become the world’s best player.

López had been following the fortunes of his country at the World Cup, where they had won every match ahead of last night’s semi-final. His family had also been with him in Brazil, including his wife – a journalist herself.

The organisations López worked for included Diario Olé, La Red and Sport, the last of which he joined in 2000 and which yesterday lamented “one of the saddest days in our 35-year history”.

Fifa and the World Cup’s Local Organising Committee also paid tribute to the journalist. The former’s head of media, Delia Fischer, said: “Fifa and the LOC would like to send our sincerest condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of Argentine journalist, Jorge López, who passed away in a tragic car accident.

“Our thoughts are with his family and his colleagues in this sad moment.”

López’s death came a week after the daughter of renowned Argentine football reporter, Miguel ‘Titi’ Fernández, was killed during a similar road accident in northern Brazil.

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