American journalist Grant Wahl, also one of the popular ‘soccer’ writers in the United States, shockingly died earlier on Saturday while covering the ongoing quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands. Wahl also earlier worked for Fox Sports from 2012–19.
The other U.S. media who were seated near him had said that Grant Wahl had fallen back in his seat in the media tribune in the Lusail Stadium during the extra time of the match. The reporters next to him had called for help. The emergency helpers responded swiftly to this call and later informed the reporters that Wahl was dead.
The American media had said that Wahl was 49-years-old and his older tweet on Wednesday says that he had celebrated his birthday on that day.
“We could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game, and its major protagonists,” the U.S. ‘Soccer’ Federation said in their official statement.
“Grant’s belief in the power of the game to advance human rights was, and will remain, an inspiration to all. Grant made soccer his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us.”
Grant, who was covering the 2022 edition of the FIFA World Cup, was covering his eighth World Cup and updated his website on Monday, saying that he had visited a medical clinic in Qatar earlier.
“My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you,” Wahl wrote. “What had been a cold over the last 10 days turned into something more severe on the night of the USA–Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort.”
It might seem as if the symptoms were of COVID-19, but Wahl wrote that he had tested negative for it and immediately sought treatment for the symptoms he had been showing.
“I went into the medical clinic at the main media center today, and they said I probably have bronchitis. They gave me a course of antibiotics and some heavy-duty cough syrup, and I’m already feeling a bit better just a few hours later. But still: No bueno,” Grant wrote.
Wahl had worn a rainbow t-shirt in support of LGBTQI+ rights in Qatar for the USA’s inaugural match against Wales on 21st November. He was denied entry by security and was told to remove his shirt and detained for 20+ minutes , as same-sex relationships are a criminal offence in Qatar’s conservative society.
The United States State Department spokesman, Ned Price, tweeted late on Friday: “We were 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 see to it that his family’s wishes are fulfilled as expeditiously as possible.”