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American soccer journalist Grant Wahl dies at 49 in Qatar

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LUSAIL, Qatar — Grant Wahl, one of the vital well-known soccer writers in america, died early Saturday whereas masking the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. He was 49.

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

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

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

“I did not have Covid (I take a look at repeatedly right here), however I went into the medical clinic on the predominant media middle at this time, 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 just some hours later. However nonetheless: No bueno.”

Throughout the World Cup, Wahl drew worldwide consideration after saying he was briefly stopped from attending the U.S. match in opposition to Wales on Nov. 21 over sporting a rainbow-colored T-shirt.

Rainbow-colored armbands, shirts and different gadgets have been a spotlight of consideration in the course of the match partly over Qatar’s stance on LGBTQ rights. Homosexual and lesbian intercourse is criminalized in Qatar, a conservative Muslim nation on the Arabian Peninsula. Wahl stated FIFA later apologized to him over the incident.

A 1996 graduate of Princeton, Wahl labored for Sports activities Illustrated from 1996 to 2021, recognized primarily for his protection of soccer and school basketball. He then launched his personal web site. Wahl additionally labored for Fox Sports activities from 2012-19.

He’s survived by his spouse, Dr. Celine Gounder, scientific 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 evening that she was in “full shock” and thanked everybody for his or her assist of her husband.

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

Sports activities Illustrated launched an announcement via co-editors in chief Ryan Hunt and Stephen Cannella that stated they have been “shocked and devastated on the information of Grant’s passing.”

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

U.S. Soccer additionally launched an announcement Friday evening, saying they have been “heartbroken” to study of Wahl’s dying.

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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