On Friday, a popular journalist associated with the CBS Sports channel passed away in Doha while covering a football match for Qatar’s World Cup. This was confirmed by his wife and the American Football Association.
After spending years as a football expert at Sports Illustrated, Grant Wahl, 48, made the move to CBS Sports in 2021.
In the quarter-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands, an NPR journalist mournfully fell to Lusail Stadium’s ground shortly before its end. Quickly responding medical staff provided first aid before carefully transferring him away on a stretcher. Sadly, he passed during coverage of this game.
Last November, Grant was taken into custody in Qatar simply for wearing a t-shirt with the rainbow flag on it. On his way to watch the United States versus Wales soccer match, he was stopped and detained briefly due to donning this symbol of LGBTQ+ pride.
Just now: Security guard refusing to let me into the stadium for USA-Wales. “You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed.” pic.twitter.com/TvSGThMYq8— Subscribe to GrantWahl.com (@GrantWahl) November 21, 2022
When Grant Wahl entered the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium to cover the USA vs Wales match, security guards quickly halted him and informed him, “You must switch your shirt. This isn’t allowed.” Such was documented in his Twitter post at that exact moment.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Wahl possibly experienced a fatal heart attack. His widow, Dr. Celine Gunder–an infectious disease expert who had made television appearances related to the COVID-19 pandemic–expressed her disbelief on Twitter: “I am utterly stunned.”
I am so thankful for the support of my husband @GrantWahl‘s soccer family & of so many friends who’ve reached out tonight.— Céline Gounder, MD, ScM, FIDSA 🇺🇦 (@celinegounder) December 10, 2022
I’m in complete shock. https://t.co/OB3IzOxGlE
For over two decades, Wahl had been reporting on both men’s and women’s soccer matches across the United States. Tragically, he passed away while witnessing an Argentina-Netherlands match.
During the quarter-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands in Lusail, located just north of Doha, Wahl tragically suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. The NFL later verified his passing with an official statement on Twitter.
With heavy hearts, the entire American football community mourns the tragic loss of Grant Wall.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, in charge of holding the Qatar World Cup, reported that a 48-year-old man sadly fell ill at the journalist’s section inside Lusail Stadium. Emergency medical care was quickly administered and he was transferred by ambulance to Doha’s Hamad General Hospital for further treatment.
On Saturday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino sent his sincerest condolences to the wife, family and friends of the late football icon with a statement on behalf of all in the football community.
FIFA President expresses condolences to family and friends of Grant Wahl. pic.twitter.com/WoEN5hUMve— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) December 10, 2022
Having authored a book on the formar English soccer player, David Beckham, Wall has additionally covered eight iterations of the World Cup and was employed by “Sports Illustrated” magazine from 1996 to 2020. Now in 2021 he joins forces with CB Network as well!
Just a few days prior to the tragedy, Wahl informed his online newsletter readers that he had recently visited a medical center at the media facility and they presumed he likely suffered from bronchitis.
After an arduous three weeks of little sleep and endless work, he began to feel a newfound pressure in his upper chest. “The amount of stress and lack of rest has begun to take its toll on me,” he added apprehensively.