Awful news from the World Cup. U.S. soccer journalist Grant Wahl has died while covering the event in Qatar. Not much more is known about Wahl’s death. The sports journalist was actively covering the Argentina match against the Netherlands when he collapsed in the press area. He was 48 years old.
NPR confirmed the news with Grant Wahl’s wife and brother. He was a former Sports Illustrated writer and appeared on many radio programs, including with NPR over the years. While Wahl was in Qatar he was not allowed into one of the stadiums while wearing a shirt displaying a rainbow on it.
There has been an outpouring of stories remembering the late journalist from friends and colleagues alike.
Towards the end of the Argentina-Netherlands match, Grant Wahl was seen by other U.S. media members falling back in his seat. Others around him called for medical assistance and EMS responded to the area to give CPR and other medical assistance before transporting him for further assistance.
U.S. Soccer Releases Statement on Grant Wahl
The U.S. Soccer Federation addressed Grant Wahl’s death in a statement. Wahl has been covering the sport for so many years at the highest level. He has interacted with so many of these players and coaches. It is clear that soccer was his passion in life and his work.
“We could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game, 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.”
This is the eighth World Cup that Wahl had covered in his career. Impressive given his age and the fact the tournament is once every four years. When he wrote on Monday about his time in Qatar he mentioned going to a medical clinic. He had a lot of grueling hours in Qatar that seemed to take their toll.
“My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you,” the journalist wrote, via the AP. “What hadbeen 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 uper chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort.”
While the full picture isn’t clear yet, hopefully, there is closure in the near future on what led to Grant’s death.