American soccer journalist Grant Wahl dies covering World Cup in Qatar

LUSAIL, Qatar — American soccer journalist Grant Wahl has died covering the World Cup in Qatar.

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Wahl, 48, died early Saturday in Qatar while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands, according to The Associated Press.

Wahl reportedly fell back in his seat in the press box at the Lusail Iconic Stadium during extra time, according to the AP. Emergency personnel were contacted and they quickly responded to assist. He was reported deceased later.

U.S. Soccer released a statement following the news of Wahl’s death saying that the U.S. Soccer family is “heartbroken.”

“Here in the United States, Grant’s passion for soccer and commitment to elevating its profile across our sporting landscape played a major role in helping to drive interest in and respect for our beautiful game. As important, Grant’s belief in the power of the game to advance human rights was, and will remain, an inspiration to all,” said U.S. Soccer in the statement.

Wahl was covering his eighth World Cup, according to the AP.

Wahl on Monday reportedly wrote on his website that he had visited a medical clinic in Qatar, according to the AP. He said he tested negative for COVID-19 and felt like he may have had bronchitis which he was given antibiotics for.

Wahl’s wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, tweeted that she was thankful for the support following his death,.

“I am so thankful for the support of my husband, Grant Wahl’s soccer family and of so many friends who’ve reached out tonight. I’m in complete shock,” she said.

Wahl graduated from Princeton in 1996. He worked for Sports Illustrated from then until 2021, covering soccer and college basketball. In addition to that, he also worked for Fox Sports from 2012 to 2019, according to the AP. He eventually launched his own website.

No official cause of death has been released.