A well-known American reporter Grant Wahl has died in Qatar after collapsed as he covered his coverage of the World Cup, sparking an outpouring of grief and shock across the globe of sports.
He “collapsed” while covering Friday’s Argentina-Netherlands match, a witness told CNN.
The Qatari World Cup organizers said on Saturday that Wahl “fell sick” within the media room which is where he was given “immediate medical attention on the spot.” Then, he was taken for treatment at Hamad General Hospital, said an official of the Supreme Court Committee for Delivery and Legacy The entity responsible for the planning of the tournament.
The patient was treated at the stadium “for around 20 to 25 minutes” before being taken to the hospital Keir Radnedge who is a columnist with World Soccer Magazine, told CNN Saturday.
“This was near the end of extra time during the match. At that point, my colleagues to my left began shouting for medical help. It was evident that someone was in a state of collapse. Since these chairs stand on their own, the people could easily move the chairs, which means it’s possible for them to create a tiny amount of space around the person,” Radnedge said.
He said that the medical team was on hand “pretty quickly ” and were capable of, in the best way they could, offer medical attention.”
The reasons for the death of his son aren’t clear.
“The whole US Soccer family is heartbroken to hear we’ve been able to say goodbye Grant Wahl,” US Soccer announced in a post via its Twitter official account.
“Grant has made soccer his life’s work and we’re sad that Grant and his amazing writing will not be in our lives.”
US Soccer praised Wahl’s passion and “belief in the power of soccer to improve human rights” and expressed its condolences for Wahl’s wife Celine Gounder, as well as his beloved family members.
Gounder also shared his US Soccer statement on Twitter.
“I am so grateful for the help of Grant Wahl’s soccer family as well as of the many people who’ve reached out to me tonight. I’m stunned,” wrote Gounder, an ex- CNN contributor who was on the transition Covid-19 Biden-Harris advisory board.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated that it was “close contact” with the family of Wahl. It was also reported that the World Cup organizers also said they had been in contact with the US Embassy “to ensure that the process for returning the body in keeping with the wishes of the family.”
Wahl was a soccer journalist in more than two decades, which included eleven World Cups — six males, five women’s and also wrote several books on soccer, as per his website.
He just celebrated his birthday earlier in the week, along with “a amazing group of media buddies in the World Cup,” according to a tweet via his Twitter profile that added: “Very thankful for everyone.”
On a podcast episode Futbol featuring Grant Wahl, published days prior to his death on December 6th, he was reported to have complained of feeling unwell.
“It had become pretty serious in terms of the chest tightness and tightness. I also felt pressure. I’m feeling pretty hairy, terrible,” Wahl told co-host Chris Wittyngham in the episode. He also said he sought assistance from the medical clinic located at the World Cup media center, thinking he might have the flu.
He was treated with cough syrup and ibuprofen and began to feel better afterward He said he felt better afterward.
Wahl added that he also experienced an “involuntary surrender by my mind and body” following the Netherlands-US game on the 3rd of December.
“This wasn’t the first one I’ve done. I’ve participated in eight of them on the men’s side” he told reporters in the moment. “And as you can imagine I’ve had to get sick at times during each tournament and it’s all about finding an effective way to finish your work.”
He also described the incident in a newsletter he that was published in December 5 noting that his body “broke down” following a lack of sleep, stress levels and a long-term job. The cold he had been suffering for 10 daysthat “turned into something much more severe,” he wrote, noting that he felt better after receiving antibiotics and picking the rest he needed.
Wahl was the subject of headlines in November when he reported that he was arrested and denied admission to the World Cup match because he was wearing a rainbow T-shirt to support LGBTQ rights.
Security personnel advised him to change his clothes as “it’s not allowed” and also took his cell phone. Wahl stated that the incident occurred about 25 minutes after being detained . He was then apologised from an FIFA representative as well as an official from the security staff in the stadium.
Afterward, Wahl told CNN he “probably will” wear the same shirt in the future.
Tributes pour in
The death of Wahl has caused shock waves through the sports and soccer journalism community, with many posting messages of condolences on social media.
“Only a few days ago, Grant was honored in a ceremony by FIFA as well as AIPS (the International Sports Press Association) for his contributions in reporting on the eight previous FIFA World Cups,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino in an announcement.
The editors in chief of Sports Illustrated, the publication which Wahl was a major part of his time, stated in a joint statement that they were “shocked and shocked by that news about Grant’s death.”
“We were so proud to have him a friend and colleague for more than two decades. No journalist in history (Sports Illustrated) has been more committed to the sport he enjoyed as well as the tales he wished to share,” said the statement.
The publication added that Wahl was first a part of the newspaper in November 1996. He had offered to report on soccer in the form of a reporter for juniors in the days before the heights of international fame it has today – being “one one of the best admired soccer experts around the globe,” it said.
The statement also stated that Wahl also collaborated with various media outlets, including Fox Sports. After his departure from Sports Illustrated in 2020, Wahl began publishing his own podcast, newsletter and podcast.
In the city of Philadelphia the NBA star LeBron James said he had been “very attracted to Grant.” When Wahl was working at Sports Illustrated, he did an article on James at the time James attended high school.
“I’ve always watched from a distance, even as I was promoted in rank as a professional and he went on to play an entirely different sports,” said James, speaking in a press conference following the game. “Any occasion his name might be mentioned, I’ll forever recall my time as a teen and having Grant at our place … That’s an awful loss.”
The tennis legend Billie Jean King said the American’s death was “heartbreaking.”
“A brilliant reporter, Grant has been a champion for the LGBTQ community as well as prominent advocate in the field of women’s soccer.” King tweeted Saturday. “He utilized his platform to raise the voices of the stories of those who needed to be told. Praises for the family of his deceased friend.”
Former and present US soccer stars, like Ali Krieger and Tony Meola have expressed their condolences like sporting bodies like Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League.
Wittyngham the co-host of Wahl’s podcast He said to CNN on Saturday that the details of his passing was difficult to comprehend.
“For Americans, Grant Wahl is the first person you’ll read about on soccer. He was basically the only person at times … Grant was the first person to have was genuinely interested in this sports in any meaningful manner,” Wittyngham said.
Many journalists have shared their stories of reporting with Wahl as well as having met him at a variety of World Cups over the years.
“Before he was the greatest broadcaster, he played hoops and was so nice for me.” famous broadcaster Dick Vitale.
Timmy T. Davis, the US Ambassador to Qatar posted on Twitter the following tweet: Wahl was “a popular and widely loved journalist who was concentrated on the beautiful game.”