American Sports Writer Collapses and Dies While Covering World Cup Match

Aldgra Fredly
By Aldgra Fredly
December 10, 2022Sports News
American Sports Writer Collapses and Dies While Covering World Cup Match
Grant Wahl smiles as he holds a World Cup replica trophy during an award ceremony in Doha, Qatar, on Nov. 29, 2022. (Brendan Moran/FIFA via AP)

American soccer journalist Grant Wahl, 48, reportedly died after collapsing while covering Friday’s World Cup match between Argentina and Netherlands in Qatar.

His agent, Tim Scanlan, said that Wahl suffered “some kind of acute distress” while covering Argentina’s quarter-final win over the Netherlands. He collapsed and was taken to the hospital, but he later died.

“Everyone’s emotional, and it’s really traumatic,” Scanlan told Reuters. “He was a true advocate for both the men’s and women’s games and really just cared deeply about the sport.”

U.S. Soccer issued a statement expressing its condolences to Wahl’s wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, and stating that his belief in the power of the game to advance human rights would remain an inspiration to all.

Gounder later posted the U.S. Soccer statement on Twitter and said that she was “in complete shock” at her husband’s sudden death.

Cause of Death Unknown

It remains unclear what caused Wahl’s death. On Dec. 6, the former Sports Illustrated writer wrote on his Substack website that he had visited a medical clinic in Qatar, where he was given “a course of antibiotics and some heavy-duty cough syrup.”

“My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress, and lots of work can do that to you,” Wahl stated.

“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.”

“I didn’t have COVID (I test regularly here), but I went into the medical clinic at the main media center today, and they said I probably have bronchitis,” he added.

Wahl said in late November that he was briefly stopped at a World Cup stadium security screening point when he tried to enter while wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ community. Same-sex relations are illegal in Qatar.

He said a security commander later approached him, apologized, and allowed him into the venue. Wahl also received an apology from a representative of FIFA following the incident.

Wahl also previously criticized the World Cup’s organizer for their ignorance on a migrant worker’s death.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Washington was “in close communication” with Wahl’s family and engaged with senior Qatari officials to ensure that “his family’s wishes are fulfilled as expeditiously as possible.”

Qatar’s World Cup organizers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), also paid tribute to Wahl’s “enormous love of football” and offered condolences to his family, friends, and media colleagues.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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