American sportswriter Grant Wahl dies while covering the World Cup match in Qatar | football news
American sportswriter Grant Wahl has died while covering the World Cup in Qatar, his family and US Soccer said.
Wahl, a former Sports Illustrated journalist who later moved to Substack, died while reporting on the match between Argentina and the Netherlands, according to NPR.
American reporters sitting near him said he leaned back in his seat during extra time, in a part of the stadium reserved for journalists.
They had called for help and although the emergency services responded very quickly, they were later told that Mr Wahl, believed to be 49 years old, had died.
No further details have been released about his death.
His wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, thanked those who “reached out tonight” but added on Twitter: “I am completely shocked.”
‘A great champion for the game we love’
Use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player
Sky Sports’ Martin Tyler pays tribute to Grant Wahl after the American sports journalist died while covering the World Cup in Qatar
Sky Sports’ Martin Tyler on Sky Sports News:
“I was on the ground and then they told me there was a problem, probably about 10 rows back from where I was transmitting.
“I found out this morning that it was Grant, who I knew, respected and had some dealings with because he had everyone’s number in his contact book.
“He was a great champion for the world game and the game we love.
“It’s a huge loss on that front, but personally it’s a huge loss, and I send my condolences to his family and friends.
“I really can’t believe it happened to someone so young.”
Arrested for wearing rainbow shirt
Wahl said last month that he was briefly detained when he tried to enter a World Cup stadium in Qatar while wearing a rainbow T-shirt in support of the LGBTQ community.
Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar.
He said on Twitter that he was detained for 25 minutes for wearing the jersey, with security guards “forcibly” taking his phone and demanding that he remove his jersey before entering the stadium.
He said he had refused.
Wahl also wrote on Monday that he had visited a hospital in Qatar, saying: “My body has finally collapsed; three weeks of little sleep, high stress and hard work can do that.”
“What had been a cold for the past 10 days turned into something more severe the night of the USA vs. Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest taking on a new level of pressure and discomfort.
“I didn’t have COVID (I test regularly here) but today I went to the medical clinic in the main media center and they told me I probably have bronchitis.
“I’ve been given a course of antibiotics and strong cough syrup, and I’m already feeling a little better just a few hours later. But still: not good.”
US ‘engaged with senior Qatari officials’
US State Department spokesman Ned Price tweeted late Friday: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Grant Wahl and send our condolences to his family, with whom we have been in close communication.
“We are engaged with senior Qatari officials to ensure that his family’s wishes are carried out as quickly as possible.”
US Soccer said: “The entire American soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl.
“Soccer fans and top-quality journalism knew we could always count on Grant to deliver interesting and entertaining stories about our game and its main players – teams, players, coaches and the many personalities that make soccer different.” to any other sport.
“Here in the United States, Grant’s passion for soccer and commitment to raising its profile in our sports landscape played a significant role in helping drive interest and respect for our beautiful game.
“Just as importantly, Grant’s belief in the power of the game to advance human rights was, and will continue to be, an inspiration to all.
“Grant made football his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us.”
A spokesman for the Supreme Committee for Surrender and Legacy (SC) said: “We are deeply saddened by the death of American journalist Grant Wahl.
“Grant was known for his enormous love of football and was in Qatar to cover their eighth FIFA World Cup.
He fell ill in the press box at Lusail Stadium, during last night’s quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands.
“He received immediate emergency medical treatment at the scene, which continued while he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital.
“We offer our deepest condolences to Grant’s family, friends and his many close colleagues in the media.”
Tributes rain down on Grant Wahl