Qatari govt issues statement following American journalist Grant Wahl’s sudden death

The Qatari government released a statement following the sudden death of famed American soccer journalist Grant Wahl who passed away Friday night during the Argentina-Netherlands match at the FIFA World Cup, causing his brother to speculate he may have been killed after receiving death threats.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

The Qataris are promising to repatriate his body “in accordance with the family’s wishes,” according to Fox News. No cause of death was announced.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of the U.S. journalist Grant Wahl,” a spokesperson for the Qatari Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy asserted 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 claimed. “He received immediate emergency medical treatment on-site, which continued as he was transferred by ambulance to Hamad General Hospital.”

The Qataris offered their “deepest condolences” to Wahl’s family, friends, and his colleagues.

(Video Credit: CBS Mornings)

Wahl was 48 and reportedly in good health. His death shocked everyone who knew him.

Fellow journalist Rafael Cores, who sat next to Wahl during the match in the press box, recounted that the soccer journalist was working on his laptop and had been “laughing at a joke we saw on Twitter” just minutes before he suddenly collapsed.

Paramedics reportedly rushed to the scene and performed CPR for 20 to 25 minutes before he was transported to the hospital.

Wahl’s brother Eric is evidently not buying the Qataris’ version of the story. He announced his brother’s death on Twitter as the shock of it washed over him. The brother recounted how the Qatari authorities had detained Grant two weeks previously because he was wearing a rainbow soccer shirt to support the LGBTQ movement when attending the U.S. vs. Wales match. Eric Wahl said his brother wore the shirt to support him.

“I’m gay. I’m the reason he wore the rainbow shirt to the World Cup,” Eric Wahl sadly stated. “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.”

The sports journalist wrote his last post on his Substack newsletter, “Fútbol,” where he criticized the Qatari government for their treatment of migrant workers, saying, “They just don’t care.”

Grant Wahl said on Thursday that he didn’t feel well during the week. He believed he had bronchitis and described his body as having “rebelled on me.” He visited a medical clinic twice for it.

“I basically canceled everything on this Thursday that I had and napped, and I’m doing slightly better,” he remarked. “You can probably tell in my voice that I’m not 100% here.”

U.S. Soccer released a statement declaring that “the entire U.S. Soccer family is heartbroken.”

Wahl started out as an intern for The Miami Herald and worked at Sports Illustrated from 1996-2020. In 2021, Wahl launched his “Fútbol” newsletter. He also worked for FOX Sports and CBS Sports. Everyone who knew him said that he was a great guy… a good person.

“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 grieving her husband’s passing. “I’m in complete shock.”

Gounder is a former CNN contributor who served on the Biden-Harris transition COVID-19 advisory board, according to CNN.

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