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The Sports World Mourns the Sudden Death of Journalist Grant Wahl During Qatar World Cup

"He was extremely kind and welcoming to everyone in the soccer world and most importantly- he was brave and when people didn’t have a voice he raised his for them."

Grant Wahl in the press area during the World Cup.

Prominent and well-respected sports journalist Grant Wahl died yesterday in Qatar while covering the World Cup. His sudden passing sparked an outpouring of grief, shock, and dismay from journalists and across the world of sports. 

According to reports from CNN, he collapsed suddenly while covering the Argentina-Netherlands match. He “fell ill” and after being treated, was transferred to Hamad General Hospital.

Keir Radnedge, a columnist at World Soccer Magazine described Wahl’s collapse: 

“This was towards the end of extra time in the match. Suddenly, colleagues up to my left started shouting for medical assistance. Obviously, someone had collapsed. Because the chairs are freestanding, people were able to move the chairs, so it’s possible to create a little bit of space around him.” 

However, the circumstances around his death are not clear. Wahl had described symptoms that he thought were bronchitis a few days earlier on his podcast “Futbol with Grant Wahl” but that he had taken some cough syrup and ibuprofen given to him by the medical clinic and was beginning to feel better.

Wahl recently made headlines when he reported that he was detained and refused entry to a World Cup match because he was wearing a proud rainbow heart shirt supporting LGBTQ rights. The entire tournament has been questioned for choosing Qatar as the location because of its harsh anti-LGBTQ laws. It does not recognize gay marriage and homosexual sex is actually illegal with the punishment ranging from 3 years in prison to potentially capital punishment if the men involved are Muslim and Sharia law is invoked. Many people were furious that Qatar was chosen to be the home of the 2022 World Cup tournament at all.

Wahl wore his shirt in protest of Qatar’s laws and stated that he intended to continue wearing it.

Because of the timing and sudden nature of his death, many on Twitter consider it highly suspicious. 

Wahl was much beloved by his readers and fellow journalists who praised both his writing and his kindness. Many across the globe are shattered by his passing.

The Official US Soccer Twitter Account Tweeted that “The entire US Soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl. Grant made soccer his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us.”

Hopefully the cause of death will be released soon and any possible foul play can be investigated.

(Via CNN/Image: Doug Zimmerman/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

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Brittany is a lifelong Californian (it's a big state, she can't find her way out!) who currently resides in sunny Los Angeles with her gigantic, vaguely cat-shaped companion Gus. If you stumble upon her she might begin proselytizing about Survivor, but give her an iced coffee and she will calm down.