Grant Wahl: Renowned US football journalist dies at World Cup in Qatar aged 49 | Football

Grant Wahl was a huge name in football journalism in America and globally (Picture: Getty Images)

Football journalist Grant Wahl died suddenly at just 49 years old while covering the World Cup in Qatar on Friday night.

The hugely-respected American journalist collapsed at the Lusail Stadium during extra-time of the Argentina vs Netherlands game.

The Guardian reports that medics were called to the press box where he collapsed and administered CPR for 20 minutes, with Wahl taken away from the stadium after the match finished.

A statement from US Soccer read: ‘The entire US Soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl.

‘Fans of soccer and journalism of the highest quality knew we could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game and its major protagonists: teams, players, coaches and the many personalities that make soccer unlike any sport.

‘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.

‘Grant made soccer his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us.’

His wife, Dr Celine Gounder, tweeted: I am so thankful for the support of my husband @GrantWahl’s soccer family & of so many friends who’ve reached out tonight. I’m in complete shock.’

(Picture: Twitter/@GrantWahl)

Wahl was in the headlines earlier in the tournament as he was detained for wearing a rainbow t-shirt to the USA vs Wales game.

A security guard refused to let him into the stadium for what was labelled a ‘political’ statement, but Wahl managed to get into the ground with the shirt on.

He posted on Twitter: ‘I’m OK, but that was an unnecessary ordeal. Am in the media center, still wearing my shirt. Was detained for nearly half an hour. Go gays.’

Wahl revealed on Monday that he was not feeling well, writing on his personal website: ‘My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you,” Wahl wrote. “What had been 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 upper chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort.

‘I didn’t have Covid (I test regularly here), but I went into the medical clinic at the main media center today, and they said I probably have bronchitis. They gave me a course of antibiotics and some heavy-duty cough syrup, and I’m already feeling a bit better just a few hours later. But still: No bueno.’

A spokesperson for the Qatari Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said: ‘We are deeply saddened by the death of the US journalist Grant Wahl.

‘Grant was known for his enormous love of football and was in Qatar to cover his eighth Fifa World Cup.

‘He fell ill in the Lusail Stadium media tribune, during last night’s quarter-final match between Argentina v Netherlands. He received immediate emergency medical treatment on site, which continued as he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital.

‘We are in touch with the US Embassy and relevant local authorities to ensure the process of repatriating the body is in accordance with the family’s wishes.’

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