U.S. soccer journalist Wahl dies at 49 in Qatar

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U.S. soccer journalist Wahl dies at 49 in Qatar
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U.S. soccer journalist Wahl dies at 49 in Qatar
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LUSAIL, Qatar — Grant Wahl, one of the crucial well-known soccer writers in the US, died early Saturday whereas overlaying the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. He was 49.

US media seated close to him stated Wahl fell again in his seat within the press field at Lusail Iconic Stadium throughout further time and reporters adjoining to him known as for help. Emergency companies employees responded in a short time, the reporters stated, they usually had been later had been advised that Wahl had died.

Wahl was overlaying his eighth World Cup. He wrote Monday on his web site that he had visited a medical clinic in Qatar.

“My physique lastly broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, excessive stress and plenty of work can do this to you,” Wahl wrote. “What had been a chilly over the past 10 days was one thing extra extreme on the night time of the USA-Netherlands sport, and I might really feel my higher chest tackle a brand new stage of strain and discomfort.

“I did not have Covid (I take a look at usually right here), however I went into the medical clinic on the major media heart right this moment, they usually stated I in all probability have bronchitis. They gave me a course of antibiotics and a few heavy-duty cough syrup, and I am already feeling a bit higher only a few hours later. However nonetheless: No bueno.”

On his podcast Thursday, Wahl stated he had a case of bronchitis and visited the medical clinic once more.

“I mainly canceled the whole lot on this Thursday that I had, and napped and I am doing barely higher you could in all probability inform in my voice that I am not at it at 100% right here,” he stated. “Hopefully I can’t cough throughout this podcast. I am coughing lots. Everybody’s coughing right here in like that is certainly not restricted to me like so many journalists have gotten a loopy cough. It seems like a demise rattle generally.

“The one factor that is shocking to me really is there is not that a lot COVID right here. I assumed there is perhaps an actual problem with that. We’re not likely seeing COVID instances. We’re simply seeing lots of common illness, coughing, colds, and I am unable to wait to be on the opposite aspect of what I’ve. However I’m going to be able to go. I am attending on Friday.”

Throughout the World Cup, Wahl drew worldwide consideration after saying he was briefly stopped from attending the US match in opposition to Wales on Nov. 21 for sporting a rainbow-colored T-shirt in help of those that establish as LGBTQIA+, as their rights are criminalized in Qatar, a conservative Muslim nation.

Wahl wrote he was detained for 25 minutes at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, then was let go by a safety commander. Wahl stated FIFA apologized to him.

A 1996 graduate of Princeton, Wahl labored for Sports activities Illustrated from 1996 to 2021, recognized primarily for his protection of soccer and faculty basketball. He then launched his personal web site. Wahl additionally labored for Fox Sports activities from 2012 to 2019.

He’s survived by his spouse, Dr. Celine Gounder, medical affiliate professor of drugs at New York College College of Medication, attending doctor at Bellevue Hospital Middle and CBS Information medical information contributor.

Gounder tweeted Friday night that she was in “full shock” and thanked everybody for his or her help of her husband.

US State Division spokesperson Ned Worth stated in a tweet that the US is “engaged with senior Qatari officers to see to it that his household’s needs are fulfilled as expeditiously as doable.”

Sports activities Illustrated launched a press release by means of co-editors in chief Ryan Hunt and Stephen Cannella that stated they had been “shocked and devastated on the information of Grant’s passing.”

“We had been proud to name him a colleague and good friend for 20 years — no author within the historical past of SI has been extra passionate in regards to the sport he cherished and the tales he needed to inform,” the assertion learn. “Our hearts exit to Celine and his household, in addition to everybody who cherished his work. He’ll all the time be a part of the SI household.”

Amongst Wahl’s work at Sports activities Illustrated was the well-known “The Chosen One” cowl story about LeBron James in 2002, when James was a junior at St. Vincent-St. Mary Excessive in Akron, Ohio.

“He was all the time fairly cool to be round. He spent lots of time in my hometown of Akron,” James stated in Philadelphia after the Los Angeles Lakers misplaced in extra time to the 76ers. “Any time his identify would come up, I am going to all the time assume again to me as an adolescent having Grant in our constructing down at St. V’s. It is a tragic loss. It is unlucky to lose somebody as nice as he was. I want his household one of the best. Might he relaxation in paradise.”

U.S. Soccer additionally released a statement Friday night time, saying they had been “heartbroken” to be taught of Wahl’s demise.

Wahl wrote that he had been amongst 82 journalists honored by FIFA and the worldwide sports activities press affiliation AIPS for attending eight or extra World Cups.

The Related Press contributed to this report.





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