American journalist Grant Wahl died while covering a World Cup match in Qatar

The highly respected American football journalist Grant Wahl died on Friday at the age of 48 while covering the World Cup in Qatar after collapsing during the quarter-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands.

Wahl fell back in his seat in a section of Lusail Stadium reserved for journalists during the extra game time, and nearby reporters called for medical attention. The emergency services arrived at the scene, treated him on the spot for 20 or 30 minutes and brought him out on a gurney.

The World Cup organizing committee said he was taken to Hamad General Hospital in Doha but 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 accordance with the family’s wishes,” the statement said.

After his death, US Soccer tweeted a statement that read: “The entire US football family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl. Fans of football and journalism of the highest quality knew that we could always count on Grant to provide insightful and entertaining stories about our game and its key protagonists: teams, players, coaches and the many personalities that make football here in the United States States are what make states special.”

Wahl’s widow, dr Celine Gounder, retweeted this statement on twitter, adding: “I am so grateful for the support of my husband @GrantWahl’s football family and so many friends who reached out tonight. I’m in complete shock.” She also asked for privacy at the time and told that New York Times that she would leave all public comments to the US Embassy in Qatar and the United States Football Association. Ned pricea State Department spokesman and White House press secretary Karine Jean Pierre confirmed that US officials are in contact with Wahl’s family and are “working with senior Qatari officials to ensure that his family’s wishes are fulfilled as soon as possible”.

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Wahl, who wrote for Sports Illustrated for over two decades and then launched his own website, according to the Associated Press, had a major impact on football coverage during a period of heightened interest after the United States hosted the 1994 World Cup. He also took a critical look at the organizing bodies of international sport.

Wahl also worked for Fox Sports from 2012-19 and was hired by CBS Sports in 2021 as an analyst and editorial consultant. Wahl wrote The Beckham Experiment in 2009 after English soccer star David Beckham joined LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer, and Masters of Modern Soccer in 2018. American journalist Grant Wahl died while covering a World Cup match in Qatar

Charles Jones

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