Grant Wahl Cause of Death: US sports journalist dies in Qatar

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Grant Wahl Cause of Death –  A prominent American football journalist died while covering the World Cup in Qatar.

Grant Wahl, 48, collapsed as extra time began in Argentina’s game against the Netherlands on Friday night.

Early reports indicate he may have suffered a heart attack, but this has yet to be confirmed.

Grant Wahl had bronchitis, wasn't sleeping well prior to World Cup death

Mr Wahl was briefly detained by Qatari authorities last month after attempting to enter a stadium wearing a rainbow shirt in support of LGBT rights.

“Fans of soccer and journalism of the highest quality knew we could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game, and its major protagonists,” it said.

In a tweet, Mr Wahl’s wife, Céline Gounder, said she was in “complete shock”, adding that she was “so thankful” for the support she had received from friends.

Mr Wahl celebrated his 48th birthday on Thursday with friends in Qatar, a day before he collapsed. He wrote on his website on Monday that he had been unwell in the last 10 days and was on a course of antibiotics for suspected bronchitis.

Sportswriter Grant Wahl dies covering the World Cup in Qatar : NPR

“My body finally broke down on me,” he 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.

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

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said Mr Wahl’s love for football was “immense”, adding that his reporting would be “missed by all who follow the global game”.

Tributes have poured in from several high-profile UK journalists.

Mr Wahl’s death, according to Henry Winter, chief football writer for the Times, represented a “desperate moment” for the industry and football around the world.

“Anyone who met Grant was instantly enthralled,” he said. “He was so enthusiastic about the game and the industry.

“He promoted soccer in the United States – probably one of the reasons they’ll be such good hosts of [the World Cup] in four years’ time is because of his passion, his writing, his almost evangelical zeal to promote the sport in his homeland and also to get behind the men’s and women’s national teams.”

Winter also told the BBC how Mr Wahl had spoken of his plans to run for FIFA President in 2011 – which were ultimately withdrawn.

BBC Sport’s Dan Roan tweeted: “Grant Wahl was a renowned and hugely respected journalist and the flood of tributes is testament to the esteem in which he was held.”

“We are shocked, saddened, and heartbroken over the tragic passing of Grant Wahl,” Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber tweeted. He was a kind and caring person with a tremendous passion for soccer and a dedication to journalism.”

Grant Wahl Cause of Death: US sports journalist dies in Qatar

Billie Jean King, a tennis legend in the United States, also paid tribute to Mr Wahl, describing him as a “advocate for the LGBTQ community and a prominent voice for women’s soccer.”

“We are deeply saddened by the death of US journalist Grant Wahl,” said a spokesperson for the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the Qatari body in charge of World Cup planning.

“Grant was known for his enormous love of football and was in Qatar to cover his eighth Fifa World Cup.

“He fell ill in the Lusail Stadium media tribune, during last night’s quarter-final match between Argentina v Netherlands. He received immediate emergency medical treatment on site, which continued as he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital.

“We are in touch with the US Embassy and relevant local authorities to ensure the process of repatriating the body is in accordance with the family’s wishes.”

Earlier this week, Mr Wahl was presented with an award by Brazilian football legend Ronaldo for reporting on eight consecutive World Cups – his first was in the US in 1994.