ITV pundit Nadia Nadim returned to the studio today for the first time since she was forced off air to be told her mother had been killed in a road accident.
Nadia, 34, revealed that her mother, Hadima Nadim, 57, had gone to the gym early on the day she died so that she could watch the presenter’s coverage of the World Cup.
Hadima was walking back from the gym after watching Nadia on television when she was fatally hit by a digger in the Danish town of Uldum, Denmark, on 22 November.
Nadia, who abandoned her World Cup coverage of the match between Denmark and Tunisia to learn of the fatal accident, marked her return to the ITV studio by paying tribute to her ‘strong and inspirational’ mother.
Nadia, 34, revealed that her mother, Hadima Nadim, 57, had gone to the gym early on the day she died so that she could watch the presenter’s coverage of the World Cup
Hadima (pictured) was walking back from the gym after watching Nadia on television when she was fatally hit by a digger in the Danish town of Uldum, Denmark, on 22 November
‘I want to make her proud, I know she wanted me to be here,’ Nadia said today on ITV, adding that her mother Hadima had ‘raised her to be strong’.
The women’s football star, wearing a black blazer and top, said: ‘My mum unfortunately passed away last Tuesday, very unexpectedly, in an accident. She was a very strong woman who inspired not only me but a lot of people around her.’
Speaking to ITV’s Laura Woodsy, Nadia added: ‘Obviously, I’m sad but on the other hand she raised us to be strong and this is how I show I’m strong. I want to make her proud, I know she wanted me to be here.
‘I remember when the accident happened she had said she was going to go earlier to the gym so she could see the show so the reason I’m here is to make her proud.
‘Obviously I have my mind on football and work and trying to build something instead of laying at home and feeling sad for myself.’
Nadia was commended by footballers and fans alike for her brave return to the ITV studio and her emotional tribute to her mother.
Professional footballer Gemma Bonner, who plays for England’s women’s national football team, praised Nadia as ‘incredible’.
‘Incredible my friend,’ Bonner tweeted after sharing footage of Nadia’s tribute. ‘Unbelievable strength from you and your family at this time! Your mum will be so so proud of you Nadia.’
Nadia, who abandoned her World Cup coverage of the match between Denmark and Tunisia to learn of the fatal accident, marked her return to the ITV studio today by paying tribute to her ‘strong and inspirational’ mother
Nadia was commended by footballers and fans alike for her brave return to the ITV studio and her emotional tribute to her mother
ITV sports journalist Beth Fisher tweeted: ‘Goodness. Such strength.’
Sports journalist Molly Hudson also said: ‘Nice of ITV Sport to allow Nadia Nadim to speak about her mum who passed away last Tuesday.’
Football fan Leigh Moore also tweeted: Hard to really put into words just how much respect I have for Nadia getting back to work on ITV Football after her experiences of the last week.
‘How proud her mother must be of the woman she raised. As the saying goes, tough times don’t last, tough people do.’
Another fan tweeted: ‘The bravery of Nadia Nadim is astounding. Total respect to you! Inspiration.’
On Friday, Nadia bid an emotional farewell to her mother during a funeral service at the Vestre Kirkegaard cemetery in the Danish town of Aarhus.
Nadia, who was dressed in black with her hair scraped back in a tight bun, broke down in tears while paying tribute to Hadima during the funeral.
Nadia, dressed in black with her hair scraped back in a tight bun, was overcome with emotion at her mother’s funeral at the Vestre Kirkegaard cemetery on Friday
Nadia, who plays for Denmark at international level, attended her mother’s funeral on Friday
The ex-Manchester City forward, surrounded by her relatives and friends, choked back sobs as she paid tribute to her mother.
‘I love you and we’ll see each other one day,’ Nadia said as her voice cracked with emotion.
The 34-year-old, shaking her head in grief, cut her speech short and was comforted by her family, who put their arms around her.
Nadia, who plays for Denmark at international level, on Friday stood next to a portrait of her mother while accepting condolences from the hundreds of people who had gathered for the funeral.
‘I can’t say anything now, I am very sorry,’ Nadia told a journalist from Kendte.dk at the cemetery.
On Wednesday, she revealed that she was forced to abandon ITV’s coverage of Denmark’s goalless draw with Tunisia to learn that her mother, Hadima, had been fatally hit by a digger in Uldum.
The ex-Manchester City forward, surrounded by her relatives and friends, was overcome with emotion during her mother’s funeral on Friday
Hundreds of people gathered for Hadima Nadim’s funeral in Denmark on Friday
ITV’s World Cup pundit Nadia Nadim revealed her mother has died after being killed by a truck while on her way back from the gym (Pictured: Nadia moments before abandoning the ITV broadcast after discovering the tragic news)
She is thought to have been killed instantly after the driver failed to see her when she stepped into the road.
In a touching tribute on Instagram on Wednesday, Nadia branded her mother a ‘warrior’ who gave her life ‘twice’ – first when she gave birth to her, and later when she risked everything to give her a safer life in Europe.
Ms Nadim wrote on Instagram: ‘Words cannot describe what I’m feeling. I have lost the most important person in my life and it happened so sudden and unexpected.
‘She was only 57. She was a warrior who had fought for every inch of her life. She didn’t give me life once but twice, and everything I/we are is because of her.
‘I have lost my home and I know nothing’s gonna ever feel the same. Life is unfair and I don’t understand why her and why this way. I love you and I will see you again.’ She added: ‘Her funeral is going to be soon… please come and show her the love, respect and prayers she deserves.’
Nadia revealed the tragic news on her Instagram page on Wednesday (pictured)
The rising star (pictured with David Beckham) was the first female footballer from Denmark to be sponsored by Nike when she signed a brand ambassador deal with the company in 2017. The deal was extended last year to 2024.
Nadia and her mother bravely fled Afghanistan when she was just 11, after going into hiding for three years when her Army general father (pictured) was executed by the Taliban
In addition to Nadia, Hadima leaves behind four other daughters; Giti, Diana, Muskan and Mujda.
Hamida moved to Uldum in 2018 after Nadia, together with her sister Giti, bought her a house to thank her for the support she had provided to the family.
An ITV spokesman said they were ‘deeply shocked and saddened by this tragic news’. The spokesman added: ‘We have offered Nadia our support and our thoughts are with her and those closest to her at this incredibly difficult time.’
Ms Nadim and her mother fled Afghanistan when she was just 11 after her father was executed by the Taliban.
They moved to a refugee camp in Denmark where Ms Nadim discovered football after seeing a group of girls playing it over a fence. She was eventually allowed to take part in their training despite not speaking any English or Danish.
She made the team within three months and was later awarded asylum, allowing her and her four sisters to stay in Denmark.
In 2009 she debuted for the Danish senior national team as the first ever non-Danish born member. She has played for the team almost 100 times.
Ms Nadim, who qualified as a doctor in January, currently plays in the National Women’s Soccer League in the US for Racing Louisville FC. She also won the French league title in the 2020-2021 season while playing with Paris Saint-German.
Off the pitch, she is a passionate ambassador for Unesco and regularly speaks on panels about children’s education and sports.
She was also the first female footballer from Denmark to be sponsored by Nike and has worked with brands including Visa and Hugo Boss.
In 2018 she was named by Forbes as one of the ‘most powerful women in international sports’.