Grant Wahl, a well-known American journalist, is away in Qatar after collapsing while covering the World Cup, sending shockwaves across the sports community. He “collapsed,” a witness told while covering the Argentina-Netherlands game on Friday.
Wahl “became sick” in the press area, where he received “urgent medical treatment on-site,” according to Qatar’s World Cup organizers on Saturday. According to a representative for the Supreme Court Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the organization in charge of organizing the competition, he was afterward transported to Hamad General Hospital.
It’s unclear what exactly happened to cause his death.US Soccer expressed their sympathies to Wahl’s wife, Celine Gounder, and other family members while praising Wahl’s drive and “conviction in the power of the game to improve human rights.” The US Soccer message was also shared on Twitter by Gounder.
“I am extremely appreciative of the help from my husband Grant Wahl’s soccer family and all of the friends who have been in touch with me tonight. I’m in full amazement,” stated Gounder, a longtime commentator and member of the Covid-19 advisory group for the Biden-Harris transition.
Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, said the agency was in “close communication” with Wahl’s family. To “ensure the procedure of repatriating the body is by the family’s wishes,” the World Cup organizers added that they were in contact with the US embassy.
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According to his website, Wahl had written multiple books about the game and covered soccer for more than twenty years, including eleven World Cups. According to a tweet on his official Twitter account, he had just celebrated his birthday earlier this week with “a terrific bunch of media pals at the World Cup,” and added: “Very thankful for everyone.”
being unwell He had expressed feeling unwell in a Futbol with Grant Wahl episode that was released just days before he passed away on December 6. “The pressure, stiffness, and tightness in my chest had gotten awful. In the broadcast, Wahl told co-host Chris Wittyngham, “I’m feeling very hairy, awful. He said, “I thought I had bronchitis, so I went to the medical clinic in the World Cup media center.”
He was given ibuprofen and cough medicine, and he claims to have felt better soon after. A “voluntary capitulation by my body and mind,” according to Wahl, occurred following the US-Netherlands match on December 3. This is not my first experience. At the time, he stated, “I’ve completed eight of these on the men’s side. I’ve been somewhat ill in every tournament, so it’s just a matter of trying to figure out how to finish your task.
In a recent newsletter that was released on December 5, he went on to further detail the occurrence, claiming that his body had “broken down” as a result of lack of sleep, excessive levels of stress, and a demanding job. He claimed that after suffering from a cold for ten days, it “developed into something more severe,” and that he felt better after taking medication and getting some rest.
By claiming that he had been held and momentarily denied access to a World Cup game because he was sporting a rainbow t-shirt in support of LGBTQ rights, Wahl had made headlines in November. He claimed that security personnel had grabbed his phone and instructed him to change his clothes because “it’s not authorized.” A FIFA spokesman and a senior member of the stadium security staff apologized to Wahl, who claimed he was freed 25 minutes after being arrested.
Wahl later admitted that he “probably will” wear the shirt once more. The soccer and sports journalism communities are in shock as a result of Wahl’s passing, and many have paid respect on social media. Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, said in a statement, “Only a few days ago, Grant was acknowledged by FIFA and AIPS (the International Sports Press Association) for his commitment to reporting on eight consecutive FIFA World Cups.
In a joint statement, the co-editors in chief of Sports Illustrated, the outlet where Wahl worked for the bulk of his career, expressed their shock and devastation at the news of Grant’s passing. No writer in the history of (Sports Illustrated) has ever been more enthusiastic about the sport he loved and the stories he wanted to tell, the statement said. “We were pleased to call him a colleague and friend for two decades.”
Wahl had started working for the magazine in November 1996, it was noted. , and According to the statement, Wahl collaborated with Fox Sports and other media organizations. He started his podcast and newsletter in 2020 after quitting Sports Illustrated. LeBron James, a basketball player, stated that he was “extremely fond of Grant” on Friday in Philadelphia. James was the subject of a Sports Illustrated cover article by Wahl while James was still in high school.
James remarked in a post-game press conference, “I’ve always kind of watched from a distance even when I moved up in ranks and became a professional, and he went to a different sport. “Whenever his name would be mentioned, I would always recall being a youngster and having Grant live in our building. It is a terrible loss.
Other current and past US soccer players, such as Tony Meola and Ali Krieger, as well as organizations like Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League, expressed their condolences. Co-host of Wahl’s podcast Wittyngham told on Saturday that it had been difficult to comprehend the news of his passing.
“Grant Wahl is the first soccer reporter you read if you’re an American. He essentially had the place to himself for a spell. Grant was the first individual to truly and meaningfully pay attention to this sport, according to Wittyngham. Several journalists related their experiences working with Wahl and running into him at several World Cups over the years.
Famous announcer Dick Vitale recalled, “Before he became the finest covering soccer, he played hoops and was very gracious to me.” Wahl was described as “a highly recognized and greatly respected reporter who specialized on the beautiful game” by Timmy T. Davis, the US ambassador to Qatar, in a tweet.