Qatar 2022: Death of an American journalist during Argentina-Netherlands

A famous American sports journalist, who made headlines recently in Qatar by wearing a rainbow T-shirt in support of LGBT+ people, died covering the World Cup quarter-final between Argentina and the Netherlands. Low on Friday, organizers confirmed on Saturday.

Grant Wahl, 48, “felt ill in the press box at the Lusail stadium,” said a spokesman for the Supreme Organizing Committee. He immediately received emergency medical treatment, which continued when he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital, in Doha.

Fifa President Gianni Infantino sent the “sincere condolences” of world football’s governing body and the “football community” to his wife, family and friends.

Author of a book on David Beckham, Wahl had covered, among other things, eight men’s World Cups consecutively, worked for the famous magazine Sports Illustrated from 1996 to 2020, before joining the CBS Sports channel in 2021.

According to American radio NPR, he collapsed in the press box as the match was coming to an end.

According to the American daily The Wall Street Journal, the journalist apparently succumbed to a heart attack.

He had told subscribers to his internet newsletter a few days ago that he had visited a clinic in the media center: “They said I probably had bronchitis,” he added.

“Little sleep, a lot of stress”

“My body finally gave up on me. Three weeks with little sleep, lots of stress and work can have this effect on you (…). I could feel my upper chest supporting a new level of pressure and discomfort,” he wrote.

“I am completely in shock,” tweeted his wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, a recognized specialist in infectious diseases, who appeared on television several times during the Covid-19 pandemic.

State Department spokesman Ned Price tweeted shortly afterwards, “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Grant Wahl.”

“Grant had made football his life’s work and we are devastated that he and his brilliant pen were no longer with us,” the United States Soccer Federation wrote in a statement.

On November 21, it is recalled, before the United States-Wales meeting, Wahl had been detained by security personnel at the Ahmad Bin Ali stadium because he was wearing a rainbow T-shirt.

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