An American journalist opposed to the World Cup in Qatar died in Doha
As reported by DW
Grant Wahl also criticized the Qatari authorities for the death of a Filipino construction worker in the last article. Wahl’s brother has alleged that his brother’s death was not natural.
American soccer journalist Grant Wahl, famous for opposing the hosting of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, died while covering a match in Doha. Wahl, 48, collapsed in the press box while covering the match between Argentina and the Netherlands at Lucille Stadium on Friday.
Paramedics performed CPR at the scene before taking him on a stretcher. The US State Department said it was in “close contact” with Wahl’s family and Qatari officials.
My brother was healthy.
Wahl made international headlines in November when he was denied entry to the U.S.’s first game in Qatar for wearing a shirt in support of the LGBT community.
Eric Wahl, Grant Wahl’s gay brother, said he suspected something was ‘wrong’ about his brother’s death.
“He (Wahl) wore the rainbow shirt in the World Cup because of me,” he said in a video posted on Instagram shortly after his brother’s death. My brother was healthy. He told me that he had received death threats. I don’t believe my brother is dead yet. I believe he is killed. And I’m just asking for some help.”
Celine Gonder, Wahl’s wife and a leading infectious disease expert, tweeted, “I am in total shock.
Earlier this week, Wahl said on several platforms that he was feeling sick. “My body finally gave up on me,” Wahl wrote in the Substack newsletter earlier this week. Three weeks of little sleep, too much stress and too much work can do that to you,” he wrote, adding, “The cold I’ve had for the past 10 days got a little more severe the night of the USA-Holland game. I could feel a new level of pressure and pain in my upper chest. I don’t have covid (I get tested regularly here) but I went to the medical clinic in central media center today and they said I might have bronchitis.”
“They gave me a course of antibiotics and some heavy syrup and I was feeling a little better after only a few hours,” Wahl wrote. But still not completely better.
Homage to Wahl
Tributes continue to pour in for Wahl. Wahl was a Sports Illustrated journalist for 24 years and later moved to the Substack platform and ran his own successful football podcast. Wahl is also credited with helping raise the profile of soccer in the United States.
The country’s soccer federation posted on Twitter, “The entire U.S. soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl.” The post added, “Of the highest caliber.” Football and journalism fans knew we could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and engaging stories about our game and its key characters.
ESPN journalist Mina Kunz said the news of Wahl’s death was “heartbreaking”, while football commentator Chris Whittingham said he was “heartbroken beyond words”. Football writer Brian Phillips said the news of his friend’s death was “crushing”. “She took a risk that most of us didn’t take and I admired her, still admire her a lot,” Phillips wrote on Twitter.
Wahl’s penultimate newsletter, published on Friday, condemned the response of Qatari authorities to the death of a Filipino migrant worker in an area used as a World Cup training base.