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Tributes pour in for football journalist Grant Wahl after his death at the World Cup


Moments after it was reported that the esteemed sports journalist Grant Wahl was dead while covering the World Cup in Qatar, tributes to the CBS Sports contributor began pouring in online.

Wahl, 48, was in the press box for the quarter-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands when he appeared to be in “some kind of acute distress”, said his agent, Tim Scanlan , to CBS News. Paramedics were called to the scene, Scanlan said, but were unable to revive him. The exact cause of death is not yet known.

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+.

Grant Wahl
FILE — Grant Wahl during a game between the United States Men’s National Team and Ecuador at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut on October 10, 2014.

Fred Kfoury III/Sportswire Icon/Corbis/Sportswire Icon/Getty Images

Sports commentators and journalists have paid tribute to Wahl’s impressive career. CBS Sports writer and senior analyst Matt Norlander said he couldn’t “understand” Wahl’s loss.

“It’s not computer science. If he had wanted to, Grant would have been THE quintessential scribe in college basketball. Instead, he changed his path and forever changed the way American football was covered and popularized. Legendary. It’s a tragedy.” he tweeted.

In a second article, he called Wahl a “great man and fearless journalist.”

“Life is fragile and there is always a reminder to live every moment for what it is. Don’t worry about the past or the future, take care of the present. That’s the only guarantee in life” , wrote Taylor Twellman, former American football player and media commentator.

Jay Bilas, ESPN basketball analyst tweeted that Wahl was “everything a great journalist should strive to be, and an even better person”.

I am devastated by the loss of Grant Wahl,” said ESPN investigative reporter Don Van Natta Jr. wrote. “He was an outstanding journalist and a kind man whose coverage of football was fair and fearless.”

Several football teams also shared statements.

“The beautiful game is better because of him”, Los Angeles women’s team Angel FC tweetedcrediting Wahl with her “contribution to the football community, especially women’s football”.

The Washington, D.C. football team called Wahl a “passionate and dedicated champion” of the game.

The American Soccer Federation said in a press release that “the whole American football family is heartbroken” by Wahl’s death. “Grant’s passion for football and his commitment to raising its profile in our sporting landscape have played a major role in helping to generate interest and respect for our beautiful game. Equally important, Grant’s belief in the power game to advance human rights was, and will remain, an inspiration to all.”

Don Garber, Commissioner of Major League Soccer tweeted that the organization was “shocked, saddened and heartbroken” by his passing.

The National Women’s Soccer League tweeted that he was “heartbroken” by the news, writing that “Wahl’s commitment to sharing the stories of our beautiful game was unparalleled, but more importantly, his integrity, thoughtfulness and kindness were at the heart of his way of living”.

In a TweeterWahl’s wife, CBS News medical contributor Dr. Celine Gounder, said she was “in complete shock” and thanked Wahl’s “football family” and friends for their support.


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