US soccer journalist Grant Wahl dies at a World Cup match in Qatar

US soccer journalist Grant Wahl dies at a World Cup match in Qatar

The famous football writer covers the match between Argentina and the Netherlands

Grant Wahl, one of the most famous soccer writers in the United States, died early Saturday while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands in Lusail, Qatar. He is 48 years old.

US media sitting nearby said Wahl sat in his seat in the section of Icon Lusail Stadium reserved for journalists during extra time, and journalists adjacent to him called for help. Emergency services responded very quickly, reporters said, and reporters were later notified that Wahl had died.

"He immediately received emergency medical treatment on site, which was continued when he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital," the World Cup organizing committee said in a statement, which did not give a cause of death. "We are in contact with the US Embassy and relevant local authorities to ensure the process of repatriating the body is in line with the wishes of the family."

Wahl tweeted on Wednesday that he was celebrating his birthday that day.

"We can always count on Grant to tell deep and entertaining stories about our game, and its main protagonists," the US Soccer Federation said in a statement. "Grant's belief in the power of the game to advance human rights was, and will remain, an inspiration to all. Grant made football his lifelong work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us."

Wahl covered his eighth World Cup. He wrote on Monday on his website that he had visited a medical clinic while in Qatar.

"My body is finally breaking down. Three weeks of sleep deprivation, high stress and lots of work can do that for you," Wahl wrote. "What was a cold for the past 10 days turned into something worse on the eve of the US-Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest experiencing a new level of pressure and discomfort."

Wahl wrote that he tested negative for COVID-19 and sought treatment for his symptoms.

"I went to the medical clinic at a major media center today, and they said I might have bronchitis. They gave me antibiotics and strong cough syrup, and I was already feeling a bit better in just a few hours. But still: No bueno," he wrote.

Wahl wore a rainbow jersey in support of LGBTQ rights at the United States' World Cup opener against Wales on Nov. 21 and wrote that security denied him entry and told him to take the shirt off. Gay and lesbian sex is criminalized in Qatar, a conservative Muslim emirate.

Wahl wrote he was held for 25 minutes at the Ahmed Bin Ali stadium in Al Rayyan, then released by a security commander. Wahl said FIFA apologized to him.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price tweeted late Friday: "We are deeply saddened to learn of Grant Wahl's death and send our condolences to his family, with whom we have been in close communication. We are engaging with senior Qatari officials to ensure his family's wishes are met as quickly as possible."

Wahl left his wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, a professor at the New York University School of Medicine, attending physician at Bellevue Hospital Center and a contributor to CBS News.

Gounder tweeted that she was grateful for the support from her husband's "football family" and friends who had been in touch.

"I was so shocked," he wrote.

Among Wahl's work before he started covering football exclusively was a Sports Illustrated cover story about LeBron James in 2002, when James was a junior at St. Louis. Vincent-St. Mary High in Akron, Ohio.

"He always looked cool. He spent a lot of time in my hometown of Akron," James said in Philadelphia after the Los Angeles Lakers lost in overtime to the 76ers. "Every time his name comes up I will always think back to me as a teenager having Grant in our building at St. V's. This is a tragic loss. It's such a shame to lose someone as great as him. I wish him the best in his family. I wish him all the best he rests in heaven."

A occasional voter in FIFA's annual awards, Wahl is among 82 journalists honored by FIFA and the international sports press association AIPS for attending eight or more World Cups.

"Just a few days ago, Grant was recognized by FIFA and AIPS for her contribution to reporting on eight consecutive FIFA World Cups, and her career has also included attendance at several FIFA Women's World Cups, as well as a number of other international sporting events," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. . "His passion for football was immense and his coverage will be missed by everyone who follows the global game."

Wahl graduated from Princeton in 1996 and worked for Sports Illustrated from 1996 to 2021, known primarily for its coverage of college football and basketball. He later launched his own website.

Wahl also worked for Fox Sports from 2012-19. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS.  

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