The Qatari government has provided some more details regarding American sports journalist Grant Wahl’s death, promising to repatriate the body “in accordance with the family’s wishes.”
“We are deeply saddened by the death of the U.S. journalist Grant Wahl,” a spokesperson for the Qatari Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said in a statement. “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,” the statement added. “He received immediate emergency medical treatment on-site, which continued as he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital.”
The committee offered its “deepest condolences” to Wahl’s family, friends and his colleagues, adding that it is “in touch with the U.S. Embassy and relevant local authorities” to make sure it repatriates Wahl’s body “in accordance with the family’s wishes.”
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Wahl, 48, passed away Friday night. His death shocked his family and colleagues as he appeared to be in fine health. Fellow journalist Rafael Cores, who sat next to Wahl during the game, said that Wahl was working on his laptop and had been “laughing at a joke we saw on Twitter” just minutes before collapsing.
Paramedics performed CPR for several minutes at the scene before sending him to hospital.
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Wahl’s brother Eric announced the death on Twitter, making a plea for help as he grappled with the news. Eric Wahl noted that Qatari authorities had detained Grant Wahl for wearing a rainbow shirt two weeks prior when he tried to attend the U.S. vs Wales match.
“I’m gay. I’m the reason he wore the rainbow shirt to the World Cup,” Eric Wahl said. “My brother was healthy. He told me he received death threats. I do not believe my brother just died. I believe he was killed. And I just beg for any help.”
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Grant Wahl had written a final post on his Substack newsletter, “Fútbol,” in which he criticized the Qatari government for their treatment of migrant workers, saying, “They just don’t care.”
Wahl on Thursday said he had felt under the weather throughout the week, saying he had bronchitis. He described his body as having “rebelled on me,” prompting him to visit the medical clinic twice, including on Thursday.
“I basically canceled everything on this Thursday that I had and napped, and I’m doing slightly better,” he said. “You can probably tell in my voice that I’m not 100% here.”
U.S. Soccer released a statement saying “the entire U.S. Soccer family is heartbroken.”
Wahl began his journalism career as an intern for The Miami Herald and worked at Sports Illustrated from 1996-2020. Last year, Wahl launched his “Fútbol” newsletter. He also worked for FOX Sports and CBS Sports during his career.
“I am so thankful for the support of my husband @GrantWahl ‘s soccer family & of so many friends who’ve reached out tonight,” Wahl’s wife, Dr. Céline Gounder tweeted. “I’m in complete shock.”
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.
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