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Grant Wahl, famous football journalist, dies during the World Cup in Qatar


Famed soccer journalist Grant Wahl has died, the U.S. Soccer Federation reported on Friday. Wahl, 48, was in Qatar covering the World Cup when he died.

Wahl suffered a heart attack on Friday in the press box at the stadium where Argentina and the Netherlands played their quarter-final, a person familiar with the situation told CBS News. Wahl had shipped several tweets during the game.

Wahl’s agent, Tim Scanlan, said the reporter “seemed to have been in some kind of acute distress in the press room” when the two teams started playing as an extra team. Paramedics were called to the scene, Scanlan said, but were unable to revive him. He was taken to “a nearby hospital”, but Scanlan did not know how he had been taken there.

“The entire American football family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl,” said the USA Soccer Federation. said in a press release Friday night. “Fans of the highest quality football and journalism knew we could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game and its main protagonists.”

grant wahl
FILE — Grant Wahl speaks during a panel discussion at the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival New York on April 8, 2014 in New York City.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Wahl had opened up about his health on his Spotify podcast on Thursday, saying he contracted bronchitis while covering the World Cup.

“I took time out here myself,” Wahl told listeners. “We’ve had two days off here without games. Seventeen straight days of games and my body, I think, told me, even when the United States came out, ‘Man, you’re not getting enough sleep,’ and it rebelled against me. So I said, “I had a case of bronchitis this week. I have been to the clinic medical center twice, including today. I feel better today. I pretty much canceled this Thursday, and I took a nap, and I’m feeling a little better. You can probably tell by my voice that I’m not 100% going here.

Scanlan told CBS News that Wahl has an “aggressive schedule” in Qatar.

“I asked, ‘Was that too much? and he said no, that’s what he lived for and he loved the World Cup,” Scanlan said, referring to a Dec. 3 conversation, about a week before Wahl’s death. “He was coming to be recognized for his eighth World Cup. He had turned 48 yesterday. He was a renowned chef and he loved to entertain. Twenty good friends came to his house last night to party.”

A prolific journalist, Wahl wrote for multiple outlets and was a contributor to CBS Sports. He was an analyst at CBS Sports headquarters throughout the Qatar World Cup and wrote articles on the United States men’s national team for CBS Sports. He was also an editorial consultant for football documentaries on Paramount+.

Wahl was also married to Dr. Celine Gounder, a CBS News medical contributor. Go below tweeted that she was “completely in shock” and thanked Wahl’s “football family” and friends for their support when the news broke.

Ned Price, spokesman for the US State Department, said the agency was in communication with officials in Qatar.

“We were deeply saddened to learn of Grant Wahl’s passing and send our condolences to his family, with whom we have been in close communication,” Price said. tweeted. “We are in contact with senior Qatari officials to ensure that his family’s wishes are granted as quickly as possible.”

“We are shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the tragic passing of Grant Wahl,” Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said. tweeted. “He was a kind and caring person whose passion for football and dedication to journalism was immeasurable.”

This is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates.


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