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US sportswriter Grant Wahl dies in Qatar during World Cup – NPR, US Soccer

In this file photo taken on January 9, 2017, US sportswriter Grant Wahl (R) and US soccer player Jozy Altidore (L) attend the 2017 St. Luke Foundation for Haiti Benefit hosted by Kenneth Cole at the Garage in New York City. - The veteran journalist died in Qatar today after he collapsed while covering the World Cup semi-finals match between Argentina and the Netherlands. Wahl was detained earlier in the tournament by security guards when he attempted to enter the match between the US and Wales while wearing a shirt with a soccer ball surrounded by a rainbow. (Photo by Mike Lawrie / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

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Grant Wahl, right, is pictured attending the 2017 St. Luke Foundation for Haiti Benefit.
Photo: MIKE LAWRIE

A US sportswriter covering the World Cup, Grant Wahl, died in Qatar on Friday, media outlet NPR and US Soccer said.

NPR can confirm the death of long-time soccer sportswriter Grant Wahl. He died today in Doha, Qatar while covering the Argentina-Netherlands World Cup quarterfinal,” an NPR reporter tweeted late on Friday.

US Soccer said it was “heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl”.

Wahl, a former Sports Illustrated journalist who had been publishing on Substack, said last month that he was briefly detained when he tried to enter a World Cup stadium in Qatar while wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ community in a country where same-sex relations were illegal.

He said in late November that World Cup security denied him entry to the United States’ opener against Wales at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan and asked him to take his shirt off.

He was also tweeting about the Netherlands-Argentina match earlier on Friday. His wife responded to the US Soccer statement on Twitter, saying she was “in complete shock”.

Details surrounding his death were not fully known as the news emerged.

The US State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

– Reuters

Story Credit: rnz.co.nz

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