HomeSportsSecond World Cup Journalist ‘Died Suddenly’ Following Grant Wahl’s Death

Second World Cup Journalist ‘Died Suddenly’ Following Grant Wahl’s Death

by Samantha Whidden
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(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Hours after American soccer journalist Grant Wahl passed away, another journalist covering the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar has also reportedly “died suddenly.” 

Gulf-Times reported that Khalid al-Misslam, a Qatari photojournalist for Al Kass TV died while covering the worldwide sporting event. “Al Kass TV photojournalist Khalid al-Misslam passed away recently,” the media outlet reported. “Al-Misslam, a Qatari, died suddenly while covering the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. We believe in Allah’s mercy and forgiveness for him, and send our deepest condolences to his family.”

Although details about his death remain unclear, Al Kass TV did mention al-Misslim’s passing once on air. Prior to al-Misslim’s death, Wahl had passed away while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and Netherlands. Before his death, Wahl reportedly fell back in his season in a section of Lusail Stadium during extra time. Reporters near him called authorities for assistance. 

Wahl was notably covering his eighth World Cup. Days prior to his passing, Wahl stated he visited a medical clinic in Qatar. He had tested negative for COVID-19 and was seeking treatment for his unusual symptoms. “My body finally broke down on me,” Wahl reportedly wrote. “Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you. 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.”

Wahl stated that the medical clinic of the World Cup main media center told him that he probably had bronchitis. “They gave me a course of antibiotics and some heavy-duty cough syrup, and I’m already feeling a bit better just a few hours later. But still: No bueno.”

Grant Wahl Was Initially Detained Early in the World Cup When He Wore a Rainbow T-Shirt in Support of LGBTQ Rights 

Earlier in the 2022 World Cup, Grant Wahl was initially detained. He was wearing a rainbow t-shirt in support of LGBTQ and had been denied entry. Eventually, he was allowed into the Lusail Stadium. 

Following Wahl’s death at the World Cup, the U.S. Soccer Federation released a statement. “We could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game,” the statement reads. “And its major protagonists. Grant’s belief in the power of the game to advance human rights was, and will remain, an inspiration to all. Grant made soccer his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us.”

The U.S. Soccer team further sent its condolences to Wahl’s wife, Dr. Celine Gounder and all of his family members, friends, and media colleagues. “And we thank Grant for his tremendous dedication to and impact on our game in the United States,” the team added. “His writing and the stories he told will live on.” 

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