Grant Wahl, a prominent American journalist, died in Qatar after collapsing while covering the World Cup 2022, causing shock and grief all around sports world.
He “collapsed” while covering the Argentina-Netherlands game on Friday.
The World Cup organizers in Qatar announced on Saturday that Wahl “felt sick” in the press area and received “urgent medical attention on site.” According to a representative for the Supreme Court Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the entity in charge of organizing the tournament, he was subsequently moved to Hamad General Hospital.
The circumstances around his death are not clear.
“The whole US Soccer family is heartbroken to learn of Grant Wahl’s death,” US Soccer said in a statement posted to its official Twitter account.
“Grant dedicated his life to soccer, and we are heartbroken that he and his excellent writing will no longer be with us.”
US Soccer expressed their sympathies to Wahl’s wife, Celine Gounder, and other family members while praising Wahl’s drive and “conviction in the power of the game to improve human rights.”
The US Soccer message was also shared on Twitter by Gounder.
“I am so thankful for the support of my husband Grant Wahl’s soccer family and of so many friends who’ve reached out tonight. I’m in complete shock,” wrote Gounder, a former CNN contributor who served on the Biden-Harris transition Covid-19 advisory board.
Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, said the agency was in “close communication” with Wahl’s family. In order to “ensure the procedure of repatriating the body is in accordance with the family’s wishes,” the World Cup organisers added that they were in contact with the US embassy.
According to his website, Wahl had written multiple books about the game and covered soccer for more than twenty years, including eleven World Cups.
According to a tweet on his official Twitter account, he had just celebrated his birthday earlier this week with “a terrific group of media friends at the World Cup,” and added: “Very thankful for everyone.”
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He had expressed feeling unwell in a Futbol with Grant Wahl episode that was released just days before he passed away on December 6.
“The pressure, tightness, and tightness in my chest had gotten really awful. In the broadcast, Wahl told co-host Chris Wittyngham, “I’m feeling very hairy, awful. He said, “I thought I had bronchitis, so I went to the medical clinic in the World Cup media centre.”
He was given ibuprofen and cough medicine, and he claims to have felt better soon after.
A “voluntary capitulation by my body and mind,” according to Wahl, occurred following the US-Netherlands match on December 3.
This is not my first experience. At the time, he stated, “I’ve completed eight of these on the men’s side. I’ve been somewhat ill in every tournament, so it’s just a matter of trying to figure out how to finish your task.
In a recent newsletter that was released on December 5, he went on to further detail the occurrence, claiming that his body had “broken down” as a result of lack of sleep, excessive levels of stress, and a demanding job. He claimed that after suffering with a cold for ten days, it “developed into something more severe,” and that he felt better after taking medication and getting some rest.
Wahl had gained attention in November by saying that he had been arrested and briefly refused entry to a World Cup match because he was wearing a rainbow t-shirt in support of LGBTQ rights.
He claimed that security staff had seized his phone and instructed him to change his clothes because “it’s not authorized.” A FIFA spokesman and a senior member of the stadium security staff apologized to Wahl, who claimed he was freed 25 minutes after being arrested.
“Grant Wahl is the first soccer journalist you read if you’re an American. He essentially had the place to himself for a spell. Grant was the first individual to truly and effectively pay attention to this sport, according to Wittyngham.
Several journalists related their experiences working with Wahl and running into him at several World Cups over the years.
Famous announcer Dick Vitale recalled, “Before he became the finest covering soccer, he played hoops and was very gracious to me.”
Wahl was described as “a highly recognized and greatly respected reporter who specialized on the beautiful game” by Timmy T. Davis, the US ambassador to Qatar, in a tweet.