Famed American Soccer Journalist Grant Wahl Passes Away While Covering The World Cup In Qatar

Grant Wahl
Doug Zimmerman/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Famous American journalist Grant Wahl passed away in Qatar, after collapsing while covering the World Cup. He was only 48-years-old.

According to CNN, he collapsed while covering yesterday’s game between Argentina and the Netherlands.

Qatar’s World Cup organizers said that Wahl “fell ill” in the press area, and received immediate medical attention on site.

He was transferred to Hamad General Hospital, according to a spokesperson for the Supreme Court Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

According to the Associated Press, Wahl had written on Monday that he hadn’t been feeling well:

“My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you. 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’s agent Tim Scanlan told The New York Times that he had suffered acute distress in the final minutes of Argentina’s win, and is believed to have died either on the way or at the hospital:

“He wasn’t sleeping well, and I asked him if he tried melatonin or anything like. He said, ‘I just need to like relax for a bit.’”

The U.S. Soccer team also released a statement:

“The entire U.S. Soccer family is heartbroken to learn that we have lost Grant Wahl. Fans of soccer and journalism of the highest quality knew we could always count on Grant to deliver insightful and entertaining stories about our game, and its major protagonists: teams, players, coaches and the many personalities that make soccer unlike any sport.

Here in the United States, Grant’s passion for soccer and commitment to elevating its profile across our sporting landscape played a major role in helping to drive interest in and respect for our beautiful game. As important, Grant’s belief in the power of the game to advance human rights was, and will remain, an inspiration to all. Grant made soccer his life’s work, and we are devastated that he and his brilliant writing will no longer be with us.

U.S. Soccer sends its sincerest condolences to Grant’s wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, and all of his family members, friends and colleagues in the media. And we thank Grant for his tremendous dedication to and impact on our game in the United States. His writing and the stories he told will live on.”

Wahl was covering his eighth World Cup before passing away.

He is survived by his wife, Dr. Celine Gounder, who shared to Twitter:

“I am so thankful for the support of my husband Grant Wahl’s soccer family & of so many friends who’ve reached out tonight.

I’m in complete shock.”

Wahl was detained in Qatar for wearing a rainbow shirt supporting the LGBTQ community, which is illegal to do in the country, and has brother has called for an investigation into his death.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock