US sportswriter Grant Wahl dies while covering World Cup game in Qatar | World News

An American sports journalist has died while covering the World Cup in Qatar, his family and US Soccer said.

Grant Wahl, a former Sports Illustrated reporter who later moved to Substack, died while covering the match between Argentina and the Netherlands, according to NPR.

US reporters sitting near him said he fell behind his chair during stoppage time, in the part of the stadium reserved for journalists.

They called for assistance and although emergency services responded quickly, they were later told that Mr Wahl – believed to be 49 – had passed away.

No further details have been released about his death.

His wife Dr Celine Gounder thanked those who had been “contacted tonight”, but added on Twitter: “I am completely shocked”.

Mr. Wahl said last month that he was briefly detained while trying to enter a World Cup stadium in Qatar while wearing a rainbow jersey in support of the LGBTQ community.

Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar.

Arrested for wearing a rainbow shirt

He said on Twitter that he was held for 25 minutes for wearing the shirt, with security officers “forcibly” taking his phone and asking him to remove the shirt before entering the field. motor.

He said he refused.

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Mr Wahl also wrote on Monday that he visited a hospital in Qatar, saying: “My body has finally broken down – three weeks of little sleep, high stress and a lot of work can make you so. .

“The colds of the past 10 days have become more severe on the night of the US vs Netherlands match, and I can feel my upper chest taking on a new level of pressure and discomfort.

“I don’t have COVID (I test regularly here), but today I went to the medical clinic at the main media center and they said I might have bronchitis.

“They gave me a round of antibiotics and some heavy-duty cough syrup, and I felt better just a few hours later. But still: Not sad.”

US ‘works 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 offer our condolences to his family, whom we have missed. close contact.

“We are working with senior Qatari officials to ensure that his family’s wishes are met as quickly as possible.”

US Soccer said: “The entire US football family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl.

“Football fans and the highest quality journalism know that we can always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game and its protagonists: Teams, players, coaches and many personalities make football unlike any other sport.

“In the United States, Grant’s passion for football and its commitment to enhancing its reputation throughout our sports landscape have played a key role in helping to garner interest and respect for the game. our beautiful play.

“It is important that Grant’s belief in the power of the game to promote human rights has been and will remain an inspiration to all.

“Grant made football his lifelong business, and we are saddened to learn that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us.”


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