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The body of football journalist Grant Wahl returned to the United States after his death in Qatar

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The body of American football journalist Grant Wahl was repatriated to the United States on Monday morning after his death in Qatar, where he was covering the 2022 World Cup.

The State Department confirmed that Wahl’s body arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York at 8:30 a.m., accompanied by an official from the United States Embassy in Doha. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also tweeted his condolences to Wahl’s family on Monday morning.

“I so enjoyed Grant Wahl, whose writing captured not only the essence of the beautiful game but also the world around it,” Blinken wrote. “I send my deepest condolences to his family and thank our Embassy team and our Qatari partners who worked together so effectively to fulfill their wishes.”

Wahl, 49, was covering the Argentina-Netherlands quarter-final match on Friday when he “fell ill” and was treated at the scene by paramedics and taken to hospital, a spokesperson for the club said. Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

A cause of death was not immediately available.

Grant Wahl with a replica World Cup trophy, in recognition of his achievement in covering 8 or more FIFA World Cups, during an AIPS/FIFA Journalist on the Podium ceremony on November 29, 2022 in Doha , in Qatar.Brendan Moran/FIFA via Getty Images

Wahl posted on his personal website last week that he was given antibiotics after being assessed by medical staff on site during the World Cup. He said he felt sick and was told he probably had bronchitis.

“My body finally collapsed on top of me,” he wrote. “Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and a lot of work can do this to you. What had been a cold for the past 10 days turned into something more serious on the night of the USA-Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest taking on a new level of pressure and of discomfort.

His wife, Dr Celine Gounder, tweeted Friday night that the news had come as a “complete shock”.

Image: Flowers are placed in memory of Grant Wahl ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 quarter-final match between England and France at Al Bayt Stadium on December 10, 2022 in Al Khor, in Qatar.
Flowers are placed in memory of Grant Wahl ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Quarter Final match between England and France at Al Bayt Stadium on December 10, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Wahl’s older brother, Eric, told the Kansas City Star he believed Wahl would receive a full autopsy after questioning his brother’s death was related to bronchitis. He said Wahl told him he received death threats after he refused to take off a t-shirt with a rainbow logo that signified his solidarity with LGBTQ+ rights.

Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar.

“There’s enough I know from my conversations with Grant to make me legitimately suspicious, if nothing else,” Eric said. “That’s why we want transparency.”

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