New questions about death of Grant Wahl after soccer journalist dies at World Cup in Qatar

ByLama Hasan ABCNews logo
Monday, December 12, 2022
New questions about death of soccer journalist Grant Wahl
The 48 year-old who helped to put American soccer on the map died suddenly while covering the World Cup in Qatar.

The tributes are pouring for renowned journalist Grant Wahl. The 48-year-old who helped to put American soccer on the map died suddenly while covering the World Cup in Qatar.

Wahl appeared to be in overall good health but suffering from bronchitis.

"He cared about people. He was empathetic, and then whenever he saw that there was something wrong Grant would write about it," said agent and friend, Tim Scanlan.

U.S. Men's National Team captain Tyler Adams expressed his deepest sympathy, tweeting, "As players we have a tremendous amount of respect for the work of journalists, & Grant's was a giant voice in soccer that has tragically fallen silent."

Lebron James, whom Wahl famously profiled for Sports Illustrated while James was in high school also paid tribute.

"It's a tragic loss. It's unfortunate to lose someone as great as he was," he said.

Wahl collapsed during the final minutes of the quarterfinal match between Netherlands and Argentina. Witnesses said he fell to the ground and was administered CPR by emergency personnel for about 20 minutes before being taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

In his final days, the sportswriter told his listeners he had bronchitis.

"So many journalists have got a crazy cough. It sounds like a death rattle sometimes," Wahl has said on a podcast, adding he tested negative for COVID and had received some medicine for treatment.

Wahl had long been an outspoken voice in soccer journalism, recently reporting on the conditions migrant workers face living in Qatar.

"The history is that they're not paid well. They're not treated well. A lot of people have died," Wahl also said on the podcast.

Just three weeks ago, Wahl wore a rainbow t-shirt to a World Cup game in Qatar, where same-sex relations are illegal. He said security initially refused to let him into the stadium.

The U.S. State department has said it is in touch with Qatari officials to have Wahl's family wishes fulfilled, however, there has been no word yet on when Wahl's body will be returned to the family.