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Grant Wahl dies at World Cup: What is known about U.S. soccer journalist’s death

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Grant Wahl, one of the United States’ foremost soccer journalists, has died while covering the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

He was 48.

U.S. Soccer announced Wahl’s death Friday night:

Wahl’s agent, Tim Scanlan, told The New York Times that Wahl was stricken in the final minutes of the Netherlands-Argentina quarterfinal match in Lusail, Qatar.

National Public Radio reported that one of its reporters “witnessed a commotion in the press tribune at Lusail Stadium” during the match. The Los Angeles Times reported that staff members witnessed Wahl receiving medical attention in the press box. NPR reported that paramedics gave Wahl CPR both in the press area and as they took him away on a stretcher. Wahl died at a hospital or en route to one, Scanlan told the Times.

The Associated Press noted that Wahl wrote on his Substack this week that he was not feeling well and had received medical attention in Qatar.

“My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you,” Wahl wrote, per the AP. “What had been a cold over the last 10 days turned into something more severe on the night of the USA-Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort. I didn’t have Covid (I test regularly here), but I went into the medical clinic at the main media center today, and they said I probably have bronchitis. They gave me a course of antibiotics and some heavy-duty cough syrup, and I’m already feeling a bit better just a few hours later. But still: No bueno.”

Wahl spent 24 years with Sports Illustrated, earning a reputation as an intelligent, insightful voice. He became known for a 2002 cover story on teen basketball phenom LeBron James, who was a high school junior at the time. James shared his thoughts on Wahl’s passing Friday night after the Lakers’ game vs. the 76ers.

Wahl’s death also prompted heartfelt tributes from many figures within the soccer community, including fellow journalists. 

Wahl’s wife, Céline Gounder, responded to US Soccer’s post from her personal account.

Here is the latest on Grant Wahl’s death:

Grant Wahl death updates 

Dec. 9

The U.S. State Department, through spokesman Ned Price, issued a statement late Friday.


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