Sunday, 29 January, 2023

US sports reporter dies after collapsing at Qatar World Cup

US sports reporter dies after collapsing at Qatar World Cup

DOHA: A leading American sports reporter, who last month had a run-in with Qatar’s World Cup organisers over a rainbow LGBTQ shirt, died while covering a tense quarter-final match Friday, reports AFP.

Grant Wahl, 48, helped build soccer’s popularity in the United States through his vivid reporting for Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports and other media.

Wahl collapsed in the press tribune during Friday’s Argentina-Netherlands game. The Wall Street Journal said he suffered a suspected heart attack.

Wahl’s wife Celine Gounder, a renowned epidemiologist, said on Twitter I’m in complete shock.

A Qatar organising committee spokesperson said he received immediate emergency medical treatment on site, which continued as he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital.

We offer our deepest condolences to Grant’s family, friends and his many close colleagues in the media, the statement added.

Organisers did not mention an incident just before the November 21 match between the United States and Wales when Wahl was stopped as he entered the stadium for wearing a rainbow shirt in support of LGBTQ rights. Qatar criminalises homosexuality and Wahl said security guards told him the shirt was political.

Widespread tributes were paid to the journalist who had been covering his eighth World Cup, starting with the 1994 tournament in the United States. His love for football was immense and his reporting will be missed by all who follow the global game, said FIFA president Gianni Infantino in a statement.

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